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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Melbourne Museum's Long-Running Animal Exhibition Is Closing After 11 Years On Display

The installation's famed taxidermied critters are taking a break from the spotlight.
By Libby Curran
January 23, 2021
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By Libby Curran
January 23, 2021
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If you've enjoyed a visit to the Melbourne Museum in the past decade, chances are you're well acquainted with Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world — that long-running, one-room exhibition filled with an array of taxidermied creatures from across the globe. If not, you'd better hurry and squeeze in a visit while you can, because the popular installation is about to call it a day.

After an impressive 11 years, the exhibition is set to close permanently on Tuesday, January 26 to make way for the much-hyped addition of a 67-million-year-old adult triceratops horridus fossil, which will be unveiled in late 2021.

Since first launching in 2009, Wild has played host to over 780 preserved animal specimens, offering a striking glimpse at the diversity of our planet's mammal, bird and reptile life. It sparked many people's curiosity, gave others the creeps and even spawned a few unlikely celebrities — like the eccentric-looking, 120-year-old taxidermied giant otter, known affectionately as 'sad otter'. That guy even made it to international meme status.

Now-extinct species like the thylacine and pig-footed bandicoot were also among the mix, with some Wild specimens having been in the museum's collection for over one hundred years.

Once they're retired from their current post, the animals will be treated to some much-deserved R&R. The museum's conservators will assess the condition of each specimen, making sure that they're properly preserved and protected for a return to display in the future.

Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world will wrap up on Tuesday, January 26. Find it at Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson Street, Carlton — you can book tickets online.

Exhibition images: Dianna Snape. Giant otter image: Jon Augier.

Published on January 23, 2021 by Libby Curran

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