Tucson’s International Wildlife Museum —-And the Gentle Art of Taxidermy

July 13th, 2012 · No Comments

by Jane St. Clair

Here in Tucson, Arizona, when it’s a frosty 110 degrees outside with no relief in sight, some of us from back East do the California dreaming thing and wish we’d kept driving further west. Hot and desperate, we visit the International Wildlife Museum, which could be called the International Dead Life Museum.  It is a devotion to the exploits of safari hunters and a tribute to the art of taxidermy.

The outside looks like a castle with a moat. And it has big statues of lions and tigers and elks! It’s in bad taste but hip at the same time, like Lady Gaga.

Inside it’s truly an educational experience in that you get to learn just how dead animals get stuffed in a step-by-step process. The air conditioning is great!

Where else can you see the bones of a rattlesnake? Or an alligator?

Or an entire roomful of dead moths and butterflies?

Where else can you see a room that contains the bodies of every variety of deer in the world (even little bitty Dik Diks)?

And a huge rock with all kinds of sheep on it! Wow! Impressive!
And it’s cool inside!

The International Wildlife Museum has dioramas of animals living everywhere
from the Arctic …

to Africa …

to Arizona!

I grew fond of this fellow:

And the dude with the big grin:

The thing is the stuffed animals have eyes that seem to follow your every movement. Here’s looking at you, kid.

Enough already, you’re giving me the creeps.

Great White Hunters like Teddy Roosevelt are not politically correct anymore. Whatever.

The International Wildlife Museum in Tucson is an interesting Sunday-afternoon-place when you can’t stand another moment at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

And did I mention —- it’s cool inside??

Tags: Arizona · Humor · International Wildlife Museum · Jane St. Clair · Oro Valley · Tucson · Tucson Sonoran Desert · Tucson Tourism · Tucson Tourist Events