Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announce today they will postpone the travel and transfer of the Wankel T.rex fossil specimen.
The Smithsonian and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed the postponement due to significant reductions to staff operations resulting from the government shutdown. Without sufficient USACE and Smithsonian staff to process the specimen before its October11 departure from the Museum of the Rockies, and to receive it upon its arrival at the Smithsonian in Washington, the T.rex's transportation schedule was delayed to a later date.
Smithsonian and USACE officials had hoped that the government shutdown would end in time for staff to confirm travel plans to prepare the specimen for its journey across the country. Museum of the Rockies has not been impacted by the government shutdown and remains open to its visitors and members.
As a result of the postponement, however, Museum of the Rockies has canceled its planned send-off event that had be scheduled for Friday, October 11, 2013, from noon to 1:30pm at the Museum.
A new date has not been set for the transfer of the Wankel specimen, but MOR, the Smithsonian and USACE are considering dates in the spring of 2014. As weather turns colder in Bozeman and snow becomes an issue for travel, officials are prioritizing the safety of the specimen during its travels.
The specimen will remain in the care of Museum of the Rockies until it is prepared for transfer at a later date.
This release was sent out by the Museum of the Rockies.