Taxidermists display their skills at the World Science Festival


Have you dreamt of a career working with animals? Why not consider the centuries old art of taxidermy. The Queensland Museum is teaching people all about this quirky trade.

Elisabeth Moss reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Beady eyes, sharp claws, pointed teeth.

Not everyone’s idea of a furry friend.

But these animals are given new life by a team of museum taxidermists displaying their skills as part of the World Science Festival.

Caroline Gasteen, Qld Museum Taxidermist: “It’s a process where we take dead animals and prepare them for display so the public can see them.”
 
The animals are preserved entirely for the environment’s sake.

Caroline Gasteen, Qld Museum Taxidermist: “To be able to see them up close, I think can gain an affinity with the animal. You get to maybe understand them a bit more and I think that education leads to conservation ultimately.”

The hands-on demonstration has attracted quite a lot of attention from visitors of every age.

VOX 1: “I think it’s amazing how like you’ve just collected them from all over the world.”

Some young visitors had already thought of preserving wildlife.

VOX 2: “She carried it home to me, she was all of four, three years old and carried it home and dumped it on my front verandah and asked me if we could stuff it.”

But it’s not for everyone.

VOX 3: “Well it’s very interesting what they’re doing. It’s kinda disgusting in a way, but it’d take a lot of work to do.”

The Queensland Museum is home to over 60,000 different specimens, just like these.

Many of the birds and mammals here have taken days, weeks, even months to prepare. But not in my case.

With a little help from their friends at the museum, these furry and feathered creatures, can truly live forever.

Elisabeth Moss, QUT News.


Posted in Environment, Human Interest, News, QUT News, Science, Television, World