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Gone extinct: Animatronic T-Rex bursts into flames

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CANON CITY, Colo.   — The co-owner of a dinosaur-themed park in southern Colorado thinks an electrical malfunction caused a life-size animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex to burst into flames.

Zach Reynolds says the T-Rex at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience smoldered for about 10 minutes before it caught fire Thursday morning. Visitors watched as the inferno spread through the dinosaur, which appeared at times to be breathing flames.

Reynolds joked, “We knew he had a temper, but today he blew his top.”

The 24-foot-tall (7-meter-tall) T-Rex, which moved and made sounds, was one of 16 dinosaurs that line the park’s Wild Walk exhibit. Reynolds says it was a total loss but at least “it made for some spectacular imagery along the way.”

He hopes to have a replacement T-Rex installed by the summer.

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