WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Several years ago, because of money issues with the state budget, it was rumored the North Carolina Museum of Forestry in Whiteville would be closed.
Instead, the museum recently underwent a major renovation and now welcoming visitors to an exhibit that features some of the creatures that used to roam the earth, and a pretty good chance they were once in Columbus County as well.
Hundreds of car travel down Madison Street every day, by the North Carolina Museum of Forestry in Whiteville. But millions of years ago, this is probably what the street, and all of this area looked like, and these giant creatures roamed the land.
Working with the North Carolina Museum of Natural History and other museums in Virginia, "Prehistoric Giants" was the first exhibit to open following the museum's renovation and was brought here in conjunction with a excavation of fossils found in nearby Lake Waccamaw and all around Columbus County.
"We have a variety of dinosaur fossils that people will see which will cover various prehistoric periods, but we also have a variety of large mammal fossils, like the prehistoric ground sloth that is part of the excavation that is going on," said Harry Warren, Director of the North Carolina Museum of Forestry.
Since the Prehistoric Giants displayed opened, hundreds of school children have visited the museum to learn about the creatures of the planet from millions of years ago.
"We are learning more and more about the creatures that lived millions of years ago because all we do have are the bones, nobody was there to recount anything," said Kelli Lewis, Education Specialists with the North Carolina Museum of Forestry. "So, it is really import to let the children know that this is something that they might discover, when they get older, and really brings out the interest that, wow, maybe there are things I can do when I grow up."
But time is running out to see this exhibit. A new, long term exhibit is being planned for the Whiteville museum. It will be an display highlighting the natural history and heritage of the forest land found in North Carolina.
For more information on "Prehistoric Giants" and other plans the museum has for the future, the phone number for the museum is (910) 914-4185.
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