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A couple of months ago, we brought to your attention a kick-ass story about how The Smithsonian was finally getting a real T.rex skeleton to put on display for fifty years. The skeleton is considered to be one of the most complete examples of the creature to have ever existed and it was supposed to head to Washington, D.C. next week. However, on Friday the The National Museum of Natural History, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana all announced that the T. rex skeleton will stay put for now. The reason lies in the government shutdown, of course.
The news about the Smithsonian’s acquisition of an epic T. rex skeleton has been buzzing for months, but thanks to the government not getting its act together, the three teams who had to coordinate the movement of the T. rex skeleton down to the minute detail have all had to halt the carefully coordinated plan. Mostly, this has to do with the fact that the Smithsonian Museums are closed for the duration of the shutdown and the non-essential workers in the Army Corps of Engineers are also off-duty for the shutdown. Which means there’s no one to supervise moving the precious skeleton and there’s also nowhere to put the skeleton even if it could be moved, since the museum is closed.
According to National Geographic, the skeleton was expected to be shipped on October 11, but now that those plans have been halted, the skeleton won’t make the cross country trek until next spring—that’s even if the government gets its act together over the next couple of days. National Museum of Natural History director Kirk Johnson says the weather is the culprit.
“We just don’t want to take any chances with winter weather and shipping a T. rex. They just had half a foot of snow in Montana.”
We’ve known since June that the museum is actually being renovated and won’t be completed until 2019, when the skeleton is expected to be the centerpiece of the brand new exhibit. In many ways, waiting until spring is annoying, but not a huge deal. However, if you planned to attend the October 16 celebration on the National Mall relating to Washington D.C.’s T. rex gain, you’ll have to cancel your plans. That celebration won’t be happening until at least 2014.