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Big orange dinosaur on Route 1 had a temporary sidekick: a giant glowing doughnut

The big orange dinosaur in Saugus is now holding a giant replica doughnut — an advertisement for a nearby shop.
Lane Turner/Globe Staff
The big orange dinosaur in Saugus is now holding a giant replica doughnut — an advertisement for a nearby shop.

It was a doughnut glow-up.

Route 1’s iconic orange dinosaur, which survived extinction when its original home — a mini-golf course — was shut down to make way for a new development, temporarily got an upgrade this week: a giant, illuminated doughnut.

The glazed doughnut was fastened to the tiny arms of the tyrannosaur by the folks at Kane’s Donuts, who recently opened a second location in Saugus near the dinosaur.

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The company posted a picture of the colorful dinosaur with the enormous doughnut on Facebook on Wednesday.

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“Even the Dinosaur knows Kane’s Honeydip Donuts are the best in the Country!!” wrote the doughnut shop, which also has a location in Boston’s Financial District

But unfortunately for Kane’s fans, the doughnut was just a temporary attraction — at least for now.

In a follow-up Facebook post Friday, Kane’s said the huge sign was “coming down soon!”

When the shop’s Facebook followers said it should stay up permanently, Kane’s wrote that the “town wants it down.” It was removed around 11 a.m., they said.

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Paul Delios, the company’s co-owner, said in a telephone interview that Kane’s didn’t realize they needed a permit to display the doughnut on the dinosaur when getting ready to open the new Route 1 location. But apparently, they did.

“We’re going to apply for a permit Monday to put it back up again,” he said. “It was an oversight on our part. We want to be good neighbors so we said we would take it down. But we hope to get it back up there because the dinosaur’s been hungry.”

Fred Varone, Saugus’s building commissioner, said in an e-mail that the doughnut violated the town’s sign zoning by-laws, which characterize a sign as “anything that is used to attract.”

“It can only be allowed by special permit from the Saugus board of appeals,” he said.

Kane’s recently moved into its new 3,500-square-foot space at the Essex Landing development, which is being built on the former site of the Route One Miniature Golf & Batting Cages, the dinosaur’s home for decades. Plans to open near the 6,000-pound fiberglass and concrete dinosaur first percolated in 2016.

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When the mini-golf site closed three years ago, locals upset about the possible removal of the dinosaur launched a Facebook group to persuade developers to keep it around.

Developers Michael Touchette, president of MT Realty in Lynnfield, and his business partner Michael Barsamian, agreed to give it a second life.

“One hundred percent,” Touchette told the Globe at the time. “The dinosaur will stay.”

Now, they’re working to save the doughnut.

“You’ve got to feed the dinosaur,” Barsamian said. “The dinosaur wants the doughnut.”

Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear. Jon Chesto of the Globe staff contributed to this report.