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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bloodthirsty Dinosaur Leaving Home

MTBritish journalist Nick Allen, right, helping to move his homemade dinosaur to the Darwin Museum on Wednesday.
Marusya the Tyrannosaurus Rex came out of the second-floor window on Kutuzovsky Prospekt and stared angrily at the sky.

"What is that monster?" muttered an old pensioner on the street outside.

It was not a monster but a 3 1/2-meter-long, 150-kilogram model of a T-Rex built in the spare room of British reporter Nick Allen's apartment.

Allen bade farewell to the dinosaur on Wednesday, when a crane turned up to transport it to the Darwin Museum, in the south of Moscow.

"It was supposed to be able to get through the door, but it just got bigger and bigger," said Allen, who works for Deutsche Press Agentur, the German Press Agency.

Allen donated the model to the museum, which provided the crane.

Founded in 1907, the Darwin Museum is dedicated to, well, evolution and natural history. It has almost 350,000 exhibits in storage, displaying a small sample of that at any one time.

While the museum includes a section dedicated to dinosaurs, Marusya will not be stationed there. Instead, she will stand at the entrance to the exhibits on the second floor.

"When I first saw it, I was astounded," said Igor Chuldin, the deputy director of the museum. "I really liked it, the 'Beasty,' as I call it, a beautiful sculpture."

Marusya, complete with teeth bloody from her latest victim and a battle scar on her side, was born a year ago.

"I've been been interested in dinosaurs since I was a kid, but it grew when my son became interested in them," said Allen, referring to his son Andrew, 8, who helped build Marusya.

"I thought I should have some sort of hobby to unwind after work," said Allen, a former journalist with The Moscow Times. "Soon the hobby became an obsession."

Allen spent hundreds of hours on the model, which is made out of wood, chicken wire, plaster, construction foam and a good deal of material scavenged from various sources.

The eyes come from a wolverine bought from a taxidermist shop. The tail is made from a pair of Estonian skis he found in the garbage bin in his courtyard.

"I think the neighbors were wondering who the foreigner was who was rummaging around in the rubbish like a bomzh," he said, referring to the Russian word for a homeless person.

By chance, Allen's older brother also began making a dinosaur -- which also happens to be a T-Rex -- out of papier mache at about the same time, even though the two of them had never talked about it. "He finished his, but the head fell off," Allen said.

To ensure historical (or prehistorical) accuracy, Allen sent off pictures of the model to the Natural History Museum in London, where chief paleontologist Angela Milner provided expert advice.

"She said the middle toe had to be extended by 20 percent more than the others," he said, "so I cut it off and built a new one."

As work on the dinosaur neared completion, Allen, who is leaving soon to report from Islamabad, Pakistan, gave the Darwin Museum a call.

"The children will be delighted when they see it," museum director Anna Klyukina said.