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.”