Oxford city centre thundered to the sounds screaming shoppers when a flesh-eating dinosaur went on a meet-and-greet yesterday afternoon.
The roaring escapee from the Dinosaur Zoo show brought Jurassic Park to the 21st century as children ran to their parents for safety and bemused tourists wondered what was occurring.
The Australovenator, a life-sized replica of a carnivorous theropod, went on a rampage along Cornmarket.
And despite being a touch on the intimidating side, especially when it reared up on it’s hind legs and let out a mighty roar, it didn’t stop the crowds from gathering round and taking plenty of pictures.
The dinosaur, which is the most complete meat-eating dinosaur skeleton yet found in Australia, is just one of many that is taking to the stage as part of Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo, which is at the New Theatre, Oxford until Saturday.
The show gives the audience a chance to get up close and personal with teeth-gnashing giants as well as cute baby dinos.
Zoo keeper Lindsey Chaplin, who helped to keep the roving dino in line, said the outing had been a success.
“It’s been nice for Austra to get out for a bit of fresh air – although there were quite a few meals on wheels opportunities with all the strollers about.
“We’ve had a really good audience so far, they were lots of fun. The reaction of people is absolutely priceless.”
Lindsey said that people who were coming along to the show should be prepared for something a little different.
“Don’t expect a regular play. You get a mix of fun, facts and very life like puppets.”
Stephanie Tye, press officer at the New Theatre, said: “Being able to take theatre out on to the city’s streets and seeing people’s reaction is fantastic.
“Everyone seemed to love meeting the Australovenator – even if they ran away screaming for him – and we have had a fantastic audience reaction to the show.
“It is a real Easter treat for the whole family.”
Dinosaur Zoo is suitable for ages three upwards.