Bob the triceratops – one of the largest, most complete triceratops skeletons in the world – is leaving its home for the past 65 million years next week.
The herbivorous creature has been on display at the Barnes County Historical Society in Valley City since June 2014, but on Dec. 20, crews will begin to dismantle the fossil in order to ship it off to Arizona for the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Showcase, the Grand Forks Herald reports.
The hope is Bob's owner – Alan Komrosky of Hell Creek Relics – will find a buyer for the $1.4 million dinosaur, which was discovered by Bobbi Egeland in 2003 at the Egeland ranch in Bowman County, located in southwestern North Dakota.
Komrosky told the Grand Forks Herald that he tried to find a buyer to keep the dinosaur in North Dakota, but no one was able to meet his asking price, including the Barnes County Historical Society, WDAY notes.
So, Bob will eventually be auctioned off to the highest bidder, and Komrosky will use the money to pay back Hell Creek Relics' investors and fund additional excavations in the Hell Creek Formation, he explained in a post on Facebook earlier this year.
It’s likely Bob will end up overseas or in a private collection somewhere, Hell Creek Relics notes.
Bob will be missed at the Barnes County Historical Society. The dinosaur increased monthly attendance twentyfold – from about 50 people to 1,000 or more, on average – since it took up residence there.
If you want to see Bob before it goes, you can visit the Barnes County Historical Society at 315 Central Ave. N. in Valley City until Dec. 19. The museum, which has no admission charge, is open until 4 p.m. every day, according to North Dakota Tourism.