MEET SOME OF OUR DINO CREW!
Dinosaur puppeteering is their pasion
Dinosaur Wranglers Billie and Jayson are retired soldiers who, after 20 and 22 years in the military, decided it was time to take their expertise to the farm, where they care for bees, chickens, dinosaurs, and some prehistoric animals. Their farm in Citrus County, Florida, is the home of four dinosaurs (as long as we don’t count the chickens anyway) who have found life in the modern world thanks to the puppeteer Billie, Jayson and their daughter ShelbyMae. Elvis, Beeatrice, Dolly, and Tri-Sarah are handled daily to ensure they are well behaved and happy (and exceptionally well-fed ) during their public interactions to give the most life-like performance possible. Each dinosaur is custom-designed, handcrafted, and controlled to ensure every detail is as realistic as possible with the attention to detail only a soldier can provide.
Billie grew up in Kentucky with six brothers and two sisters and had two childhood dreams. The first was to grow up and work with animals, and the second was to be a puppeteer. Dinosaur entertainment and education have been the best combination of those two dreams. Her favorite part of being a dinosaur wrangler is making a kid’s dinosaur dreams come true and seeing the smile and amazement on their face.
Billie hopes she can inspire kids. Right now, the stereotypical image of a scientist is an unsmiling, middle-aged man who wears a lab coat and is surrounded by boring things, and this mindset starts as early as kindergarten. Billie hopes to help ALL kids understand that science (and dinosaurs) are not just for boys. She hopes to inspire a little girl to know science IS FUN and maybe spark the same never-ending curiosity that drove Sue Hendricks to find Sue the T-rex. Her love of puppeteering is evident in every performance.
ShelbyMae is our youngest dinosaur puppeteer. From age two, she would come home from school asking to dance or for a dinosaur. Her mom, Billie, initially brushed off the dinosaurs as something she didn’t really like, just something she saw other little boys in her class with. Shortly after her third birthday (about a month after), she started palnning her fourth birthday, DINOSAURS and Dragons!!! Billie thought for sure she would change her mind before her next birthday, but there was no changing it. Dinosaurs and Dragons were in order and since then have been a love of hers. Now ShelbyMae is turning five and loves talking to other kids about dinosaurs. She is an expert in triceratops (and a few other ceratopsians) and loves explaining the claws and teeth of raptors. She also loves training Elvis the tyrannosaurus rex.