For a few months now my daughter has been very interested in taxidermy. I'm not really sure how it all started. She read a lot of books, watched youtube tutorials and jumped right in. The first thing people ask is "Where do you get the animals?".
So, I will get that out of the way first. Pet stores sell frozen rodents for snake food. My daughter has gotten rabbits, rats, mice and guinea pigs that way. Also from time to time we come across a creature who has met with a tragic demise.
Some she poses in lifelike positions.
And some in not so lifelike positions!
This one reminds me of Beatrix Potter's Tailor of Gloucester. My daughter chased a farm cat for this young water rat, she cornered him, and the cat dropped it in front of her and ran off! I do not advise cornering cats, but in this case it worked out with no harm done.
This was the first rabbit she ever taxidermied. It takes a lot of trial and error to get them to look alive. The raccoon was done after a little more experience. That raccoon causes quite a stir when we take him out.
There is a fervent community of taxidermy enthusiasts online. They share tips, failures, and success stories. My girl now buys, sells, and trades with people all over the world. You'd be surprised at what people are willing to pay for. Even our pet snake's skin sheds are now bartered off or sold.
I really hope she doesn't sell this mounted mouse head. It's like something from The Borrower's. I want it for our doll house.
WARNING: If you are squeamish and this is all too much for you...do not proceed!
There she is on the patio working on that Beatrix Potter rat. It amazes me how fearless and driven she is. This backs up my firm belief that given the freedom and resources to follow their passions kids will do just that.