Dinosaur statue booted from California city

April 21, 2013 at 10:36 AM

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., April 21 (UPI) -- City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., said they booted a 40-foot statue of an apatosauras from a petting zoo because it was deemed an eyesore.

Carolyn Franks, owner of Zoomars, the petting zoo, purchased the friendly-faced dinosaur last year for $12,000 from a Romanian shopping mall and brought it to her Los Rios Street venue, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Soon after she was cited by the city with a cease-and-desist letter for an "unpermitted brontosaurus."

"It's a historic animal in a historic animal park, and I don't understand what the fuss is about," Franks said. "None of it makes sense to me. None of it makes sense to anybody."

The fate of the dinosaur was debated for 10 months by the City Council before the statue was officially evicted from the city.

"For goodness' sake, we want commercial uses and we want businesses to thrive," said Isle Byrnes, a local historical advocate.

But "we'll lose the historic qualities of Los Rios," if the city's peace and quiet is disturbed by the installation. "It's a balance."

Franks has sold the statue to Grand Canyon Caverns, a tourist attraction in Peach Springs, Ariz., where she said she hoped more people could enjoy it.

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