The National Museum of Natural History announced last Friday that the Tyrannosaurus rex it obtained on fifty year loan from the Museum of the Rockies will arrive in Washington April 15. The T. rex skeleton will be the centerpiece of the museum’s new 31,000-square-foot national fossil hall, which will open in 2019. The current hall will close to the public April 28 in order to begin the complete redesign and renovation of the exhibition space.

The specimen was discovered by Kathy Wankel, a rancher, near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Eastern Montana in 1988.

Mark Robinson of the MOR tells me a public send off is planned for April 11th, details forthcoming. Mark further explained the Wankel T. rex is no longer on display as it has been packed away waiting a shipping day since the government shutdown in October.