DeKALB — Deep in the woods of Tilton Park Drive, hiding behind bare branches lives an animal that has been extinct for 65 million years. It’s Paris the parasaurolophus.
OK, so Paris may be a statue, but her resin body is best kept out of direct sunlight, which is why her owner has placed her in the trees. Delores Graves, who lives on Tilton Park Drive, has housed Paris for over a year now.
“Everything has to be somewhere,” Graves said smiling. “It seemed like a nice, natural spot.”
Deciding that Paris was a female dinosaur also came naturally, Graves said. She said she went out to check on Paris one day and found a mushroom near the dinosaur, thinking to herself that the object resembled an egg.
“She laid an egg,” Graves said. “So it was obvious to me that she was a ‘she’ after that.”
Graves said growing up, her brother wanted to be a paleontologist. She told him if he ever found a dinosaur he would have to name it after her, “the Deloresaurous,” she said.
As her brother aged, his path changed, and he never went into paleontology. But that didn’t stop Graves when she came across Paris at a garden and statue shop in Lemont.
“I just thought, why not,” Graves said. “My brother wasn’t surprised. He expects stuff like this from me.”
Graves said others in town were surprised, however. As Paris was delivered from Lemont to DeKalb, drivers on the interstate would point and stare, she said. It’s also made her at-home life busier.
During times when the weather is nice, Graves said she enjoys watching kids and parents approach the dinosaur with puzzled looks. She said she always encourages people to stop and take photos with Paris.
“It’s been very interesting since she’s been around,” Graves said. “There’s a lot more traffic on my street, and people are always just very curious about her.”