Dinosaur Museum in Wyoming Set to Close

It may be hard to believe as people queue to gain access to the Natural History Museum in London or wait excitedly to see the “Dinosaurs Live” stage tour, but not every museum or attraction associated with dinosaurs is doing well in the current recession.

The Natural History Museum in London has an hourly capacity of 10,000 visitors and in the Summer months, especially during the school holidays it regularly reaches this limit.  It can be so busy that sometimes visitors can not even get near the souvenir shop.  Nice to know that they can shop in comfort from their own home at Everything Dinosaur and still be assured that many of the items they buy from us help support the palaeontologists at the museum.

To visit our on-line shop:  Everything Dinosaur

However, not every dinosaur themed attraction is doing as well in the current difficult economic climate.  For example, the University of Wyoming Geological Museum, a museum based on the campus of Wyoming University is being forced to close down.  Budget  cuts of $18.3 million have been announced and the museum will be closed to visitors from the 1st of July.

Myron Allen the Wyoming University provost stated:

“It wasn’t a decision anyone wanted to make.  We didn’t like any of the least of the evils”.

Cuts in the annual University budget had to be made and unfortunately the axe has fallen on the museum with its many dinosaur fossils including a replica of “Big Al” a superbly preserved sub-adult Allosaurus (A. fragilis), a dinosaur which was the subject of a television documentary made by the BBC under the “Walking with Dinosaurs” franchise.

The “Big Al” Exhibit at the University Museum

Picture Credit: University of Wyoming

Wyoming is associated with a number of famous Mesozoic fossils, not just Allosaurs but also Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus and Camptosaurus to name but a few.  Of particular importance are those parts of the state with exposed elements of the Morrison Formation and areas such as Como Bluff.  A number of late Jurassic fossils are directly associated with this part of the USA.

Unfortunately, the Director of the Museum Brent Breithaupt and one part-time assistant will lose their jobs as a result of the closure.  The administration felt that cutting the $80,000 budget was the best action they could take to protect other areas of the University in these difficult economic times.

The fossils will remain in place but the visitor side of the operation will cease next month.  It is a shame to hear this news, we wish everyone affected by the decision whether an employee or a student studying courses at the University the very best of luck and here’s hoping that the museum will shortly be able to open again and put on public display its prehistoric animal fossils and exhibits.

A petition has been organised (thank you commentator), and we have signed it hoping that our viewpoint may in some small way help in saving this valuable teaching and educational resource.

To sign the petition to save the Dinosaur Museum In Wyoming visit the museum’s website.

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