Aging 'Uncle Beazley' leaves National Zoo for 'treatment'

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 20, 2011; 11:58 PM

One of the Washington area's best-known dinosaurs left the District last week, headed for Prince George's County to be treated for what might be described as the problems of age and exhibit life.

The dinosaur, a life-sized statue of a triceratops, was showing signs of the ills that can befall fiberglass likenesses, according to the National Zoo, where it has been on display for years.

It was not clear how many people caught a glimpse of its three horns, its massive head and its 25-foot length as it rolled through the streets on a flatbed truck Wednesday on its way to the Smithsonian Institution exhibits facility in Landover.

There, holes and cracks will be patched. The statue, modeled after a creature believed to have lived 60 million or more years ago, also will receive a new paint job.

The dinosaur is named Uncle Beazley, after a creature in Oliver Butterworth's "The Enormous Egg," a children's book that was adapted into a movie.

Created in 1967, Uncle Beazley ultimately was donated to the Smithsonian and has been on display over the years in several places in the city, including on the Mall in front of the National Museum of Natural History. It returned to the zoo in 1994.

The zoo said it expects Uncle Beazley back in about a month.

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