RICHMOND, Va. — Following an incident at Maymont, nearby Byrd Park is on lockdown until further notice.
Early Sunday morning, Richmond police officers arrived alongside the National Guard and a S.W.A.T. team at the Maymont Nature Center, armed with guns, grenades, and anything that could stop — or at least inconvenience — an escaped Tyrannosaurus rex. The T. rex was quickly tracked down crushing cars in the parking lot. RPD officers, the National Guard, and S.W.A.T. jumped into action, but were predictably met with large jaws and the dinosaur’s digestive system.
The T. rex was being housed in an outdoor padlock at a secret laboratory facility behind the Maymont Nature Center. Scientists had been working with fossilized tree resin to extract prehistoric DNA. The project — which was meant to bring back extinct animals for guests to enjoy at the park — was being kept under wraps until the official unveiling late this summer.
“We thought it would make up for the otter section being renovated and closed off for a while,” said Andrew Lytle, one of the animal caretakers. “I got the idea from the first 20 minutes of that movie ‘Jurassic Park’ that I forgot to finish and suggested it to my bosses. I didn’t know why the other employees weren’t as stoked about the idea as I was, but I guess this might have been why.”
As for how the dinosaur escaped, the surviving employees, including Lytle, reported seeing “that stupid intern Chad” taking a cow to strap into the crane that fed the T. rex. When the cow got stuck in the hole that lowers food into the pen, Chad Miller tried pushing the cow himself, only to fall in.
“At first, I just ignored it. Chad has been a pain in the ass for the whole three months he’s been here,” Lytle said. “But then I remembered if he died, we probably wouldn’t get grant money ever again.”
Lytle and other employees called emergency services, who arrived promptly at the facility. Miller broke his leg in the fall, so the EMTs demanded the pen be opened so they could quickly put Miller on a stretcher and run out. Employees reluctantly typed in the code for the opening mechanism but regretted it almost immediately. While trying to quickly escort Miller out on the stretcher, the T. rex appeared, eating both Miller and the emergency personnel. Employees attempted to close the gate but could not do it in time.
After ravaging the parking lot and most of the police and military reinforcements, the T. rex was seen walking towards Byrd Park. Bicyclists and other guests were hastily turned away from the park by the RPD with no explanation other than, “Run! Get the hell out!”
“I came to Byrd Park to witness the finest quality emerald green goose feces, but then I heard this screaming and felt the ground shake,” said Joshua Grass, a seventh year VCU student. “I thought it was an earthquake, but then there was, like, this mutant lizard walking around. So I ran super far until I got to my favorite vape place to try to forget all about the dinosaur.”
The T. rex is said to still be walking around Byrd Park’s pond. Local residents are advised to stay indoors and to report any large dinosaur tracks or half-eaten cars to 911 or RPD’s urgent hotline.