Scales, Feathers and Fur

Has your resident taxidermy worn out its welcome? If you get a wild hair to spring clean early, Elachee needs your taxidermy!

Elachee’s taxidermy collection visits with 34,000 children each year. Our taxidermy friends are not only part of Elachee’s natural history exhibit, they offer a much-loved experience for all who ‘meet’ them. Elachee’s skilled educators use the friends in this collection as supplemental teaching tools in 12 of the 52 STEAM-based environmental education programs the Nature Center offers for children PreK through grade 12. Elachee Nature Academy student 'loves' on a beaver after participating in the Elachee program, Habitat is Home. Elachee seeks taxidermy donations to replenish its collection used to teach children about the natural world around them.

In fact, the programs utilizing the taxidermy collection engage nearly 42 percent of the children visiting Elachee each year. Most of these children (and their parents) have never seen some of these animals, except as represented as illustrations in books, or viewed on a video.

Elachee introduces them to a personal experience whether they visit on school field trips, participate in Camp Elachee summer day camps, Elachee’s Home School Program Series or our Elachee Nature Academy students, or meet our friends during an Elachee in Your Classroom outreach program.

Over the course of their lifetimes, many will never encounter these living creatures in the wild. However, understanding by seeing and touching real life specimens gives these students the necessary perspective to help them grasp life science concepts and complement other nature-related instruction these children receive.

Retiring Aging Specimens 

Elachee Senior Naturalist Cindy Andrews points out this aging taxidermy specimen that is missing its tail, fins and teeth, in an appeal for donated taxidermy to the Nature Center's collection.Due to their busy schedule Elachee’s taxidermy friends experience natural wear and tear. While we take great care when transporting and maintaining our taxidermy collection, at times Elachee needs to retire certain friends once their conditions become too difficult to repair. Unfortunately, this leaves us without vital teaching components. Elachee often needs donations of new or well-cared for taxidermy to add to our collection.

For nearly three years, our educators have been patiently waiting for funding or donations to replace aging taxidermy. In September, the Junior League of Gainesville-Hall County awarded Elachee a Done in a Day Grant for a classroom refurbishment project that also included the purchase 15 small taxidermy specimens.

Elachee Senior Naturalist Cindy Andrews shares, “So who do you know that would get excited by the smell of skunk on your desk? ME! I could smell the skunk skins before I even opened the package.”

She continues, “How many folks know that the Georgia state fossil is a shark’s tooth? Well, we now have a Miocene era shark’s tooth replica in Elachee’s taxidermy collection!”

“It was too funny, the day a crab replica arrived before I even got the crab out of the package, a co-worker asked to use it to teach a nature education program that day,” Cindy recalls. “It’s the small things that rejuvenate our desire to share that excitement with our students.”

Give Your Taxidermy a New Lease on Life

Many of Elachee's aging taxidermy collection specimens are missing appendages, have bald spots or are simply ready for retirement. Elachee seeks donations of taxidermy specimens to replenish its collection used in nature education for children.If you have unwanted taxidermy, please call 770-535-1976 to speak with a member of our Programs staff. We will evaluate the taxidermy to determine if we are able to add it to our collection.

You may also email a photo of your unwanted taxidermy, along with your contact information and donation offer, and we will contact you.

Your in-kind donation is tax-deductible. 

Taxidermy Wish List

  • Fish
  • Birds (priority is ducks)
  • Fawn
  • Beaver
  • Raccoon

Please note: we are not accepting Pheasants at this time.