Cece the Dinosaur escaped from Billing Productions in Allen. She’s not a big dinosaur. At 205 million years old, the coelophysis reaches about four feet in height and about 53 pounds, with a long narrow head and forward-facing eyes that affords it stereoscopic vision and excellent depth perception. She has narrow hips and feet and forelimbs capable of grasping prey.
With a long snout like Big Bird’s beak, Cece is a typical predatory dinosaur with recurved sharp and jagged teeth. She preys on small, lizard-like animals, though you may want to keep your small cats and dogs locked up (and make sure they’re vaccinated), especially if you live in Allen.
Billings Production, also known as the Dinosaur Company, was in the process of moving its headquarters when the dinosaur escaped. “Initially, we were not concerned,” Lauren Billings of Billings Production said at a mock press conference. “She loves to play, so we figured it was another game of hide and go seek.”
It wasn’t, and Billings immediately called Allen Mayor Debbie Stout to let her know that a carnivorous dinosaur with a knack for playing hide and go seek had escaped.
“Yes, there is an exotic creature on the loose, and no, it is not considered dangerous,” Mayor Stout said at the mock press conference. “I’m here to ask everyone in the community, both young and old, to help locate Cece the Dinosaur.
But Allen Parks & Recreation needs your family’s help with finding her in the month of October. They have set up a website with search updates and videos to help you find her. Every Thursday in October, they will announce new search locations to help searchers find Cece along Allen’s trail systems on the Search for Cece the Dinosaur Facebook group.
Allen Parks & Recreation are encouraging people to post clues such as teeth, eggs, and footprints that they find in the Facebook group.
Billings told Local Profile that the Cece the Dinosaur scavenger hunt was actually the City of Allen’s idea. “It’s no secret we’ve been building our new headquarters here in Allen, and in order to drum up excitement and get the community engaged, one of our dinosaurs ‘ran away,’ and it’s up to the community to search for Cece the Dinosaur on the City of Allen’s trails,” she explained. “This is important because it gets people out of their homes and exploring the trails. Besides the benefits of the outdoor space being safer for COVID, everyone could use some sunshine and fresh air. It also creates a connection within the local community.
“Beyond community engagement, this event raises awareness about the wonderful parks and trails in Allen, highlights The Dinosaur Company moving to our new location, and showcases other announcements from the City of Allen in a fun way.”
They plan to hold a homecoming party for Cece at the end of the month.
“We haven’t finalized what we’re doing, but safety is a top priority for us,” Billings said. “When we do decide where the event will occur, it’ll be within the state guidelines.”
At the mock press conference, Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey said that he had received a call about the missing dinosaur at 9 a.m. He gave her description and pointed out that she doesn’t have any identifying piercings or tattoos, though she may when she returns home.
“APD officers have only found evidence including eggs, claws, and teeth along Allen’s extensive trail system so that is where we are asking residents to focus their searches,” Chief Harvey said. “Thought to be a carnivore, Cece is actually a candyvore with a preferred diet of sugar and chocolate. Because of this, it is imperative that we find her before Halloween.”
Chief Harvey is asking for the public to form socially-distanced search parties every Thursday until the end of the month.
Allen Fire Chief Jonathon Boyd offered some helpful tips for search parties at the mock press conference:
- You can keep the eggs and claws you find. They are safe.
- Please remain on the trails to search for her clues.
- Stay hydrated and stay alert.
- Practice social distancing and wear face coverings.
“I feel confident that our residents can be safe as they search for Cece,” Fire Chief Boyd said. “In fact studies show that you are more likely to be hit by lightning than attacked by a dinosaur.”