Zoofari, Dino Island returns

Staff Reports

POWELL – Due to its popularity, Dinosaur Island is back from extinction opened May 19 at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium with new dinosaurs and fan favorites, including Tyrannosaurus rex!

This colossal adventure will take Zoo guests back in time, 65 million years, on a quest to find and document more than 20 animatronic dinosaurs and one Pachyrhinosaurus photo op sculpture in the Australia and the Islands region.

Made of steel with a urethane waterproof skin, the dinosaurs have eyes that shift and blink, tails that move, mouths that make loud noises, and electronic “brains” that activate and control their movements and sounds. The result is a thrilling experience that is sure to delight visitors of all ages!

The animatronic dinosaurs arrived at the Zoo on May 8. The opening date of Dinosaur Island was originally estimated to be May 27, but now that each dinosaur has been successfully placed after a smooth installation process, they are ready and “roaring” to greet Zoo guests.

Starting May 19 and running through Oct. 31, guests will have the chance to enjoy this expedition by foot path and water taxis. A special admission ticket is required for entrance and is not included with Zoo admission. Admission to Dinosaur Island is $3 for general admission, $2 for Columbus Zoo members and free for Columbus Zoo Gold members, as well as included in the price of a Zoo-it-All ride wristband. Explorers of all ages will enjoy this adventure, whether they have expert knowledge or are discovering dinosaurs for the first time.

Visitors can spot these ‘dino-mite’ dinosaurs and more around the island:

  • Amargasaurus: Lived in the Cretaceous period; name comes from the La Amarga canyon in Argentina where it was discovered.
  • Carnotaurus: Lived in the late Cretaceous period; name means “meat (eating)-bull.”
  • Diabloceratops: Lived in the Cretaceous period and was discovered in Utah.
  • Muttaburrasaurus: Lived in the Cretaceous period; name means “lizard from Muttaburra,” as it was discovered in Muttaburra, Queensland.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Lived in Cretaceous period; name means “tyrant lizard king.”

The dinosaurs were acquired from Billings Productions located in Allen, Texas. Billings Productions is the leading provider of animatronic dinosaurs for zoos, museums and theme parks in North America. They specialize in producing large, life-size animatronic dinosaurs that can withstand outdoor weather for traveling or permanent exhibits.

Zoofari: It’s One “Wild” Night for Animal Conservation

Animal enthusiasts will make their way to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Saturday, June 17 for the Zoo’s adults-only signature fundraising celebration, Zoofari.

From 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., guests will enjoy delicious food and specialty drinks from nearly 100 Central Ohio restaurant and bar stations while dancing under the stars to live music performed by Reaganomics, The Martini Affair, and more. Presented by Nationwide, this 47-year tradition provides a party with a purpose, with all proceeds benefiting conservation education. Tickets are now available for purchase online.

“As one of the most popular events of the summer, Zoofari offers a unique evening experience that combines food and fun with supporting wildlife,” said Tom Heiby, the Zoofari Committee Chair. “Each year, we work hard to make sure that Zoofari is better than ever to enhance the experience for our guests. From adding new restaurants and entertainment to even finding ways to reduce waste so we are operating more sustainably, we’re proud to share this special event with supporters in our community and together raise a glass to protecting the future of the world’s wildlife.”

To really rev up support for conservation education programs, Zoofari will again include a raffle for “Jack’s Wild Ride” which, this year, is a 1968 Camaro convertible. Raffle tickets can be purchased online and the night of Zoofari.

Remember to bring identification; those under the age of 21 are not permitted to enter.

If you’ve never attended this must-do summer event, now is the time as we are committed to make this the best ever!

PLEASE NOTE: The Zoo will close to the public at 3 p.m. on June 17 to prepare for Zoofari. The event will take place rain or shine.

Home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 600 species from around the globe, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium leads and inspires by connecting people and wildlife. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Course. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates The Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; annually contributing more than $4 million of privately raised funds to support conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.


Staff Reports

To unearth more information about the Zoo’s summer happenings, visit ColumbusZoo.org and follow the Columbus Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To unearth more information about the Zoo’s summer happenings, visit ColumbusZoo.org and follow the Columbus Zoo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.