Pine Knoll Shores aquarium launches 'dino'mite endangered species contest

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PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina aquarium is bringing attention to endangered species through a unique contest.

This contest is designed to be fun for those participating, but officials at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores says they hope it will also get people thinking about how they can help threatened species.

Last week, the aquarium officially opened their Design a Dino contest where participants get to color a dinosaur using the colors of a currently endangered species of their choice.

Officials at the aquarium say they want contestants to research animals that need their help and then tell them why they chose that particular animal.

There is a student and public category for the contest and the winners will have their picture painted on a large animatronic dinosaur that will be on display at the aquarium.

"There are a lot of species today that are facing extinction and so our desire is to get kids really excited about dinosaurs but also to understand that there are things they can do to help animals that are facing extinction," says Danielle Bolton with the aquarium.

There will be two winners chosen and their dinosaurs will be part of a display of more than a dozen large dinosaurs that will be placed throughout the aquarium starting on Memorial Day weekend.

The winners will be selected on April 18th and those interested in taking part in the contest have until April 1st to submit their dino.

Organizers say kids and adults are welcome to participate.

You can stop by the aquarium and design your dinosaur or you can print off the form at home and email or mail your submission to the aquarium.