Dinosaurs invaded the Oxnard Plain Thursday, but they had to wait two hours for a forklift to remove them from a moving van.
As the doors of the van opened to reveal the lifelike models, forklift operator Dale Core urged his co-workers: "Go in and show 'em we're friendly!"
The figures, which are about 7 feet tall or half the size of the real creatures, were built by Dynamation International Corp., a Southern California company specializing in robotic dinosaurs. The exhibit has toured from Los Angeles to Redding and is making a four-month stop in Oxnard.
Presented by the Gull Wings Children's Museum of Oxnard, the "Dinosaurs Alive!" exhibit is scheduled to open Dec. 8 and continue through April 5. In addition to the dinosaurs, which move and roar, the exhibit features hands-on activities for youngsters, such as digging for fossils and computer games, a theater with short films on natural history and a gift shop. There will also be a fossil display donated by the University of California at Berkeley.
Battling a strong wind Thursday, workers carefully moved the dinosaurs, which weigh between 600 and 1,500 pounds.
The Gull Wings Children's Museum is in downtown Oxnard in an old USO building that is too small for the exhibit. Told Corp. and River Edge Development Inc., builders of the new North Coast Executive Center in the Oxnard Town Center, donated nearly the entire first floor of the center to house the exhibit.
Museum director Gig Wishon estimated that the exhibit will cost about $150,000, mostly from corporate donations. Mitco Inc., Procter & Gamble and the Farin Foundation each donated more than $5,000.