By Ellen Geerling
Most dinosaurs disappeared from the earth about 65 million years ago, but a very special one disappeared from a local Lake St. Louis family’s porch a few days ago.
If you spot a five-foot-long, mottled green, T-rex dinosaur with reptilian yellow eyes roaming the Lake St. Louis neighborhood, the dinosaur’s family wants to know.
“Rex has guarded our front walkway for several years,” said Mark Geerling. “He was like a family member. Children in the neighborhood enjoy seeing him decorated for Halloween and Christmas. The dinosaur sat in a small, protected courtyard behind the wall in front of our home, and nobody’s disturbed his peace until now.”
The large fiberglass statue of T-rex went missing recently, and the family is offering a reward for his recapture. “He was only worth a few hundred dollars, but his sentimental value is priceless,” said Geerling. “We took a lot of family photos with him for graduations, birthdays, holidays, and other rites of passage. He holds a lot of happy memories.”
“We got Rex years ago when our two sons were little kids and sort of dinosaur freaks,” Geerling said. What for many youngsters is a passing childhood phase became an adult hobby: Geerling and his boys are now amateur paleontologists and have traveled several times to Jordan, Montana, to dig for and cast dinosaur fossils. Recently they were part of a small expedition of scientists and local teachers that found the jaw and skull of a T-rex, nicknamed “Woody,” which was added to Montana’s state collection by paleontologist Jack Horner of Jurassic Park fame.
The dinosaur is anchored on a square black frame and, at the time of his disappearance, had some small paint spots missing from years of weathering. “If you should happen to see him at a flea market, for sale on Craigslist, swimming in the lake, or roaming the neighborhood, or if you have any information at all leading to his return, please contact the Lake St. Louis police,” Geerling said.
“We want him back and won’t make any bones about it.”