'Sue' returns to the Black Hills on the big screen - KOTA Territory News

'Sue' returns to the Black Hills on the big screen

She was a Black Hills resident for just two years. But the people of Hill City became quite attached to her.

"She was the towns pride and joy," said Kristin Donnan-Standard, author of “Rex Appeal.”

Her name is "Sue", the largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered.

"In 1992, the dinosaur was seized by the United States government. It claimed that we had collected her illegally," said Peter Larson of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research.

Now she returns to the Black Hills on the big screen. Locals lined up at Hill City High School on Saturday for a screening of "Dinosaur 13, which tells her story.

"It’s a good story from beginning to end. And yet it still contains a lot that will surprise people. It's the tip of the iceberg in terms of the whole story. It's an amazing story," said Patrick Duffy, attorney who represented Larson from the case.

The story kicked off in 1992 with several days of protest from people who didn't want their beloved dinosaur taken away.

"People were here with signs. And every day the number of people grew until there were several hundred people here protesting," Larson said.

The dispute…who was Sue’s rightful owner?

"Sue was actually found on the private ranch owned by Morris Williams. There was a technicality in that Morris had placed a particular section of land in trust with the United States government," Larson said.

"The judge eventually found the sale of the fossil from the Native American landowner to the Black Hills Institute to be null. He then returned possession of Sue back to the gentlemen," Donnan-Standard said.

Williams then sold Sue at auction to The Field Museum in Chicago.

"She's still there and is visited by millions of people," Donnan-Standard said.

People who may not know the long journey she took from Hill City to Chicago.

"She was the town’s dinosaur. Hill City and the community had really adopted this dinosaur,” Larson said.

If you missed the screening, Larsen says the film is set to hit Rapid City theaters in mid–August.

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