Monday, September 03, 2007

Wildlife No Longer Wild Nor Life

My daughters and I visited Tucson's International Wildlife Museum this afternoon. I'm writing an essay about urban wildlife and/or hunting, or maybe hunting urban wildlife (you can see I'm not very far into it yet), so figured this would be an important visit. The museum features only taxidermied (sp.?) animals. Parts of it were a bit morose, especially I think for our younger daughter, but both of them concluded that it was pretty great.

Here are some photos, and there are a few more over in the Gallery:


The International Wildlife Museum is designed and built as a castle.



Past the initial exhibit---a fairly amazing insect collection---we came across this snake skeleton. Quite a beauty, eh?



Farther in, the girls delighted in the display of different sized bird eggs.



Here and there (rather ragged looking) lions stalked the static halls of the museum.



A typical diorama: small room with natural habitat, painted background, and stuffed animals, as with these rhinos.



The Hall of Horns (or whatever this wood-paneled great room is) featured a stunning array of animals and bodiless but horned and antlered heads. Here, the girls admire the zebras below the head of an African elephant before walking beneath a giraffe.



Large cats stalk the room from their eternal center; rows and rows of antelope heads along the back wall.



At the center of the museum, literally and perhaps figuratively, is a "mountain" of sheep and mountain goats from around the world.



Surrounding the mountain are other dioramas of cold climates, including this Alaskan view.



One of my favorite exhibits was "Arizona at Night," near the end. This is the entrance.



Inside, blue lights shined mysteriously, and beautifully, on the varied species of the desert night.

Check the gallery at SimmonsBuntin.com for more photos.

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If you can get past the idea of all the dead animals---and frankly, that didn't bother any of us after the initial exposure to them all---then the International Wildlife Museum is a good educational experience, even if it lacks in interactivity with the notable exception of the "Sensory Safari."

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1 comment:

Lauren said...

Hey Simmons! I'm in Tucson! Are you free today or tomorrow? Is there a WIP tonight? Email me! :)