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Tucson dinosaur lives another day after group calls for removal

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Some might call it a Tucson icon, while others say it is a problem that needs to be dealt with.

A dinosaur statue named Roxy Rex has been located at the intersection of Tanque Verde and Grant Road in Tucson next to McDonald's since 1994.

The previous owners of the McDonald's worked out a deal with Universal Pictures to bring the fake dinosaur to Tucson after it was used in the Jurassic Park movie, according to Lizzeth Alvarez with Dias Management, which currently manages the McDonald's location.

"The owners back then had a son," said Alvarez. "He was young and had an obsession with dinosaurs."

Now, a group wants to see Roxy Rex disappear.

On Aug. 15, a member of the Facebook group "Christians Against Dinosaurs," which has more than 28,000 members, posted about asking people to call the McDonald's and have them take it down.

Alvarez said that they first thought it was a joke until many customers started calling and wanted to save Roxy Rex.

"It is part of our community now, our customers love it," said Alvarez. "We love it."

However, some members of the CAD Facebook group News 4 Tucson spoke with don't see it that way.

"Well, the simple truth is that there is no such thing as dinosaurs and there was never anything such as dinosaurs," said Norbert Lutoslawski, a member of the Facebook group.

"I would be willing to bet without even looking that homicide stats have risen since the dinosaur has been there... addiction rates, unemployment all types of negative energies," said Gerard James, another member of Christians Against Dinosaurs. "There is just no real proof for dinosaurs and we challenge anyone who will tell us we are wrong."

Dr. Robert McCord, a curator of paleontology at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, has discovered thousands of fossils during his more than 40-year career and said that dinosaurs existed.

"I am finding it hard to take them seriously and that it is isn't a joke," said Dr. McCord. "What is the evidence that they don't exist? We have museums full of fossils that says they do and thousands of individuals who have collected them and seen them come out of the earth."

Whether you believe dinosaurs existed or not, Roxy Rex won't go without a fight.

"We respect everyone's beliefs and I think it is great that we are able to do that and we live in a country in where it is freedom you know, so we say that, 'Hey we don't have anything against your beliefs, but we are not taking the dinosaur down,"' said Alvarez.

This fight may not be over. Some members of this Facebook group claim to have gotten more than 300 dinosaur statues and other items removed this year alone across the country.

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Priscilla Casper

Priscilla Casper is an anchor and multi-skilled journalist for News 4 Tucson. She anchors weekdays at noon and 4 p.m.

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