Sue’s arrival at Discovery Center of Idaho is a big deal—literally. In fact, DCI had to make special accommodations just to fit the 42-foot-long, 13-foot-high Tyrannosaurus rex through the door for “A T. rex Named Sue,” the new exhibit that runs Saturday, Jan. 21-Sunday, May 7.
“Even unassembled, she is so big in the crates she’s coming in that the doors aren’t big enough to fit her,” said DCI Operations Director Hannah Schaeffer, who also said DCI staff needed to widen some doorways to squeeze Sue into the main room where she’ll be displayed.
The T. rex, reproduced from fossils found in South Dakota’s Black Hills in 1990, is larger than a school bus. Schaeffer said the process has been considerable, beginning with the expense.
“As soon as we started getting her specs, we knew this was something we had to scramble together,” Schaeffer said. To help with the cost, DCI reached out to the community asking for donations to help renovate the space. In return, donors got their names on a smaller T. rex model in the Center.
The Center expects thousands of visitors over the next few months, so it's planning special events around the exhibit. For example, Saturday, Jan. 27, the Center is hosting “A Brew with Sue,”
featuring beers provided by Powderhaus Brewing Company, food from Boise Fry Company, and presentations on everything from fossil collecting to human spine health.
All of DCI’s regular programming will still be available, but getting this T. rex to Boise was a huge accomplishment. Schaeffer said she was told Sue would go into storage if the Center didn’t take the opportunity to put her on display.
“It’s going to be extra special when Sue is here,” Schaeffer said.
- Discovery Center of Idaho