Published: 08 November 2023

A popular Swansea Valley tourist attraction is giving people the chance to win their very own life size dinosaur. 

Dan-yr-Ogof, The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, is auctioning off one of its colossal dinosaur models as a special gift for someone this Christmas. 

All the proceeds from the unique auction will be go towards the Wales Air Ambulance, the Charity the Showcaves has committed to supporting for five years.

The Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus), stretches nearly 37 feet in length (11.3 meters) and stands over 11 feet tall (3.4 meters).
While the value of this awe-inspiring dinosaur was originally £30,000, the silent bidding process promises to be an exciting opportunity for enthusiasts and is open to everyone.

Bidders are being encouraged to submit an email offer to the Showcaves by Monday, 20 November 2023, and the replica dinosaur will go to the highest bidder. Potential buyers should email their offers promptly to [email protected].

Ashford Price, Chairman of Dan-yr-Ogof Showcaves, said: “All children love Christmas, and dinosaur presents are found in many youngsters Christmas stockings every year. Imagine having a life size dinosaur for Christmas. This is a unique opportunity to own one of our dinosaurs, and it’s a firm favourite among children who visit the Showcaves.
“Every penny generated from the sale of the dinosaur will be donated to the Wales Air Ambulance, a charity that consistently demonstrates exceptional dedication to saving lives throughout Wales each year.

“We aspire to raise funds for Wales Air Ambulance, while simultaneously creating unforgettable Christmas memories for a lucky family.”

Crafted from reinforced fibreglass, the dinosaur can be disassembled and reassembled. The responsibility of disassembling, transporting and reassembling the life size reptile to its new home will lie with the eventual buyer. A basic knowledge of working with fibreglass and assembly is recommended for a seamless experience.

Dan-yr-Ogof is already supporting the Wales Air Ambulance through its free Charity Express land train, which invites people to make a donation to the lifesaving service.  

It also has collection boxes in its coffee shop and in one of the underground lakes in the caves they invite people to throw coins in the water for the all-Wales Charity.

Reflecting on why the Wales Air Ambulance was chosen, Ashford Price, Chairman of the National Showcaves Centre for Wales at Dan-yr-Ogof said: “A young visitor was at the caves when she went into a diabetic coma. An air ambulance arrived at the scene and managed to stabilise her much to the relief of her parents.

“Wales Air Ambulance really is a lifesaver and in remote mountainous areas it can access regions other vehicles cannot reach.”

The air ambulance service in Wales is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Wales Air Ambulance Charity relies on public donations to raise the £11.2 million required every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the Charity’s vehicles.  

Siany Martin, Wales Air Ambulance’s Corporate Fundraiser, said: “The auction is another excellent idea to help raise vital funds for our Charity, and a rare and exciting opportunity for someone to win their own life size dinosaur in time for Christmas.” 

“We are extremely grateful to Dan-yr-Ogof Caves for their continued support and donations, which will help the Wales Air Ambulance carry out its lifesaving missions across Wales.”