Sunday, December 2, 2012

Taxidermy

We have a taxidermist in the family... an uncle who has been in this trade for decades. Recently we visited him and was told that his collection of stuffed animals were going to go soon. These are all works of art.. One has to have some know how of anatomy, sculpture, painting and even tanning. One has to remove all the internal stuff and 'do up' the animal.

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Uncle is one of very few people in this field. He says it's a dying trade. There are now many laws which prohibit the hunting of many animals in order to protect them from extinction. Moreover, it is also a messy job which involves digging up the innards.

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His collection of stuffed animals or some might label as 'trophies' dates back many decades. Over the years, many people and institutions like the zoo would send animals for him to stuff and preserve. All of these come with proper legal documents too.

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When we first came up north, this is one place which we would visit regularly and many of these stuffed animals were quite familiar to us. Our boy used to be afraid of some of them, especially this one huge crocodile head which would sit at the bottom of the stairs.

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This would be the last time we'd be seeing these animals. Since Aunty passed away, Uncle has been away quite often at his children's place.

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This leopard has been around for 40 years! It has been a familiar figure which grace the hall. And it's going to a new home too.

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These are also works of art... the preservation of form after death. I know it sounds quite morbid but it's not as scary as mummification of humans.

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These will all be soon displayed at the Natural History Museum in Putrajaya. I think they will make the bulk of the stuffed animals on display there!

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A lifetime of collection here.....

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