In the mostly wooded northwest corner of Brookfield Zoo stands a figure that looks out of place among the masses of modern, living animals.
Lurking in the woods is a 32-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture of a duck-billed dinosaur that was built for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. When the statue was created, the dinosaur it depicts was called a Trachodon, though paleontologists have since stopped using that term. Originally, the statue was part of a collection of “terrible lizards” sponsored by the Sinclair Oil Company which also included a replica of its trademark Brontosaurus and Uncle Beazley the Triceratops.
Some of the specimens went missing after the collection was eventually disbanded. Luckily for the duck-billed dinosaur, the large, lizard-like creature has called Brookfield Zoo home since 1970. Originally a bright blue, it has dulled with age and is largely covered with moss, though you can still see most of its spots and facial details.
The sculpture was made by legendary wildlife sculptor Louis Paul Jonas, who also built the famous African Elephant exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.