On a particularly cold day and we didn’t want to do anything outside, but also didn’t want to stay home. The point of full time RV traveling is to be able to see and learn about the communities we visit. We pulled out our trusty Tuscon coupon booklet for some indoor activity ideas and settled on visiting the International Wildlife Museum. Gail and Dave Hanley joined us to take a tour of this internationally famous museum with animals, birds, reptiles and fish from all over the world, figuring it would be a good place to test out my new camera by taking lots of pictures.
I didn’t know exactly what I was going to see, but this is a taxidermy museum. There is an extensive educational display as you start through the museum that explains the art of taxidermy and its evolution over the years. Taxidermy is a way to educate viewers of specimens about animals that they may never have the opportunity to see up close or in person, and also about the importance of preservation and conservation so that the animals continue to survive or what they might have looked like if they are now extinct. It was a great introduction and helped tremendously as we worked our way, over the next two hours, through the various rooms and exhibits.
I had never seen a hummingbird egg and barely saw this one. It is really tiny!
The photo above was taken in a HUGE room FILLED with all kinds of bears, big cats, elk, deer, caribou and other game animals. The room was a duplicate of the “living room” in the home of the man who started the museum. That must have been one BIG house! He obviously was a big game hunter and shot animals from all over the world, including giraffes, lions, tigers and rhinos from Africa, India and other parts of the world (in the name of preservation??). There are hundreds and hundreds of heads and full bodies, some set up in dioramas, and others just hung on walls or positioned for display.
I found the museum extremely interesting and educational, but disturbing at the same time. It was a great way to spend the afternoon, stay out of the cold and wind and learn something, but I don’t have to go back. I think next time I will opt for a zoo.