Jurassic Park it isn't. But apparently, there's a large dinosaur on the lam in the Capital City. And its owners would love to have it back.
Since a search for Apatosaurus footprints failed to turn anything up, Apple Tree Academy, a Jefferson City day care center, has placed a lost ad in the News Tribune classifieds in hopes of finding the missing dinosaur.
The dinosaur, a plastic toy about 2 feet in length and 2 feet tall, stood in front of the day care until teachers discovered its absence one morning, according to assistant director Heather Werner. A green dinosaur, which rested near the purple dinosaur, remains.
The disappearance of the purple dinosaur surprised and disappointed Werner.
"It was sad, especially when the kids and parents noticed (the dinosaur was gone)," she said.
Werner first filed a police report two weeks ago, shortly after the dinosaur disappeared.
"I don't forsee the cops finding it anywhere. It's just teenagers messing around," she said. "It was a $600 dinosaur. It's more about the money. The children have plenty of other toys."
Hailey LeCure, a 3-year-old student at the day care, noticed the dinosaur's absence.
"Somebody took it. Now, we have one dinosaur," she said.