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Dinosaurs charge into ImaginOn

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/14/01/1wpdeO.Em.138.jpeg|171
    DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Dakota, a life-size Deinonychus that Ed Bounds handles from inside, engages ImaginOn visitors Friday morning, July 11, 2014. A small camera in Dakota’s nose enables Bounds to see and react to kids. He will return to ImaginOn on Aug. 8.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/14/01/1rZyQR.Em.138.jpeg|476
    Davie Hinshaw - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Brothers James, 2, and Thomas, 4, Isenhour are thrilled to see Dakota and Friends outside ImaginOn Friday morning, July 11, 2014. Ed Bounds broughtDakota and Friends to ImaginOn Friday morning and will return Aug. 8.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/14/01/Gnv4e.Em.138.jpeg|219
    DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Interested visitors watch as Ed Bounds prepares to move Dakota and Friends inside ImaginOn on Friday morning, July 11, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/14/01/WIeTo.Em.138.jpeg|180
    DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Dakota enters ImaginOn Friday morning, July 11, 2014. Ed Bounds uses a small camera in Dakota’s nose to see and react to kids.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/11/14/01/QkR7B.Em.138.jpeg|434
    DAVIE HINSHAW - dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com
    Charlie Rietz, 3, of Charlotte gets a special ride on Trixie the Tricertops as Ed Bounds pushes him inside ImaginOn Friday morning, July 11, 2014. Bounds brought his dinosaurs, called Dakota and Friends, to ImaginOn for a fun and educational show Friday.

Self-proclaimed dinosaur handler Ed Bounds awed children Friday with Dakota the velociraptor at the ImaginOn Joe and Joanne Martin Center.

ImaginOn invited Bounds, who owns and operates Dakota and Friends, to help promote their summer reading series. The summer reading program encourages students to boost reading outside of school, offering prizes for students who reach goals.

One of the reading lists is about dinosaurs. Bounds will put on his Dakota suit again at ImaginOn Aug. 8.

“You get a little education in the back door,” Bounds said.

Bounds said his first experience as a dinosaur wrangler was when he volunteered to work the tyrannosaurus rex puppet at the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro a couple of years ago. Bounds loved the job so much, he made a career out of it.

“I get to bring the dinosaurs to children who might not otherwise get to see them,” he said.

Bounds also brings along three baby triceratops for younger children. He said one, named Trixie, is always ready for children to jump on her back for a ride.

“She hasn’t had this much fun in 65 million years.”

Williams: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @byclairew
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