Royal Show goes Jurassic with life-like dinosaurs

LIFE-SIZED robotic dinosaurs and a walking Tyrannosaurus Rex — this is what to expect at the Dino Expo at the Pietermaritzburg Royal Show.

Produced by David Huni, a Zimbawean artist, the expo is the first of its kind in KwaZulu-Natal and is bound to thrill all who visit it.

Having toured Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, the expo has so far attracted an estimated one million people to the life-like sculptures.

With robotic sculptures of the Triceratops, Saltasaurus and Iguanodon, to name a few, the dinosaurs have been expertly built according to scientific scale.

Working with cold-rolled metal sheets, copper, bronze, stainless steel, wax, silicone and stone, the artist says he has learned from the best to bring KZN the optimum dinosaur experience.

“I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the best artists in the business who contributed to the great success of the animatronics of the popular Jurassic Park movies from Stan Winston School in the USA.

“I have also had help from the BBC Walking with Dinosaur

s Arena Spectacular created by Creature Technology of Australia.

“During my research I have visited the world’s biggest dinosaur museum, Zigong Dinosaur Museum in Asia.”

He said these research visits around the world helped him to sculpt the life-like dinosaur sculptures to be displayed at Pietermaritzburg’s Royal Show.

The display is made to be interactive with the public so they can experience what they might not have been able to, he said.

“People’s favourite is the walking dinosaur.”

The Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is just a person wearing a costume, will walk around outside the expo so people will get a close look at Huni’s work.

“I think people will love the whole exhibit,” he said. “It is unique and makes the impossible possible.”

The life-like expo includes a fossil pit for children to “dig” in and a dinosaur ride, where children will be able to climb onto the back of a dinosaur sculpture while it moves.

Huni said his previous expos had an overwhelming amount of support and he hopes Pietermaritzburg’s expo yields the same success.

He said he believes his work to recreate environmental science for educational purposes will benefit the public, “especially the young generation”.

“My recycled metal art works of science specimens contribute in creating awareness on the importance of conservation of flora and fauna.”

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