Dinosaurs are set to descend on the Capital this summer as Edinburgh Zoo turns Jurassic Park – offering punters the chance to get up close and personal with long-lost giants of the prehistoric age.
Life-size animatronic models will be on display at the zoo for six months from April, with 14 different dinosaurs taking up residence at the top of the hill.
A special, 3600sq m enclosure is even being constructed to house them – complete with tropical plants and exotic terrain set to mirror conditions from millions of years ago.
Visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of a gigantic, 20ft tall and 45 ft long Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as a Stegosaurus and a host of others – all capable of realistic movements and sounds. The exhibit seeks to draw attention to animals threatened with extinction across today’s world.
And city chiefs insisted the new installation was destined to become a top summer attraction.
Richard Lewis, the city’s culture leader, said the ferocious predators were “guaranteed to be a big hit with visitors”.
He said: “It sounds wonderful. The zoo are always being creative in terms of ideas.
“I think it’s great, and it also highlights species that are endangered now. It’s probably going to be a very good marketing ploy with a serious message. If you can help educate while entertaining then that can only be a good thing.”
Edinburgh isn’t the first zoo to host a collection of prehistoric beasts, with Chester Zoo’s Dinosaurs at Large! exhibition wowing crowds since 2011.
Chris West, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said the project would allow experts to engage with large audiences and raise awareness of the “very real threat of extinction” facing many species.
He added: “The exhibition will allow visitors to explore a lost world of creatures that were on planet earth up to 65 million years ago and to rediscover the natural world of today, which we are at risk of losing if we don’t alter some patterns of our behaviour. ”
A spokeswoman for Edinburgh Zoo said they were “delighted” the exhibition was opening in the city.