(WVUE) - The warnings posted on the fence, the distant screeching and growls and the giant gated entrance set the mood for a Jurassic experience.
It's an adventure like no other on the edge of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin swamp. A trail winds its way through a Louisiana version of a prehistoric forest, and along the way you'll discover more than 30 life-sized dinosaurs.
"I was actually driving through Florida one day and I saw this sign that said 'Dinosaur World,' so I pulled in and checked it out and it was something similar to this, and I said, you know something? We need this in Louisiana," said Lee Venable.
Venable opened his Cajun Palms RV Resort at Henderson nine years ago. The dinosaurs are the next step in turning the property into an entertainment destination for families. The dinosaurs came from the Philippines by ship, train and truck, and then were assembled in their new wooded home.
"It's been a great reaction," Venable said. "Kids love it, the schools have embraced it."
Each prehistoric animal has a plaque with its name and a few interesting facts. An ancient relative of the alligator is something these South Louisiana school kids can relate to, but the star attraction is the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Dawn Champagne manages the park and keeps the dinosaurs howling, wagging their tales and chomping their teeth.
"They are definitely my babies," she said. "I fell madly in love with them from the first day that I met them."
From prehistoric birds to giant lizards, dinosaurs with spikes and horns and body armor, and a giant leaf-eating Brachiosaurus that peers down from the treetops. It's a journey filled with thrills and smiles as youngsters get a close-up look at the giants that once roamed our planet.