Dinosaurs lurk at Skyline home

If you happen to drive down Skyline Road off Berlin Road, be sure to watch out for dinosaurs.

Metal sculptures of a T-Rex and a velociraptor guard the entrance to the home of Manuel and Carolyn Coelho.

The retired couple found them while vacationing in California earlier this year.

“We went there on a vacation,” said Carolyn. “We saw this big elephant on a hill. My husband said that would be perfect.”

“We wanted to put something up there,” Manuel said. “I was looking at old tractors.”

While on their trip they stopped at Perris Jurassic Park in Perris, Calif., and saw the dinosaurs.

“We flew over there, and we had to come home and get our truck,” Carolyn said.

The detailed sculptures were created by Ricardo Breceda, who sculpted his first T-Rex and spinosaurus after seeing “Jurassic Park,” according to his Web site, ricardobreceda.com. The two likenesses were approximately 20 and 35 feet long and, when placed along the freeway, drew spectators and media attention. That motivated Breceda to turn his hobby into a fun business.

He will make anything someone wants, Manuel said.

While visiting, the Coelhos watched Breceda working on a 20-foot giraffe. He also has a created a herd of horses.

He builds the sculptures of quarter-inch solid metal rods, with sheets of metal wrapped over the frame, Manuel said.

The Coelhos get a taste of the attention that Breceda has gotten.

On the trip home, the T-Rex’s head stuck up above the cab as they traveled, Carolyn said. People took photos, and when the couple stopped, they were constantly barraged with questions about them.

“I’ve been getting a lot of comments from the neighbors,” Manuel said.

They have even had a church group drive up to look at them, Carolyn said.

Standing out was part of what they had in mind when they brought their metal pets home.

“Nobody else is going to have a dinosaur up here,” Carolyn said. “We just like it because it looks like real animal muscles.”

They have one more metal sculpture at the driveway, an eagle hanging from a branch overhead.

Manuel is a retired Christmas tree farmer from Garden Grove, Calif., between Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. He grew and retailed Christmas trees, shipping additional stock from Oregon. Carolyn worked in the business during the Christmas tree season. The couple moved to Sweet Home 15 years ago after retiring.

They have one son who lives in Holley and five more sons who live in California.