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Melbourne Museum's popular taxidermy room is closing permanently

The 'Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world' exhibition has run for 11 years

Nicola Dowse
Written by
Nicola Dowse

Melburnians have had to contend with a lot of challenges lately, and we're sorry to say there's been yet another blow to our city's vibrant cultural fabric. Melbourne Museum's incredibly popular and long-running Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world exhibition is set to permanently close at the end of January.

Wild – otherwise known as the giant taxidermy room or the "dead zoo" –  has been running for 11 years, having first opened in 2009. The exhibition is home to more than 750 preserved animal specimens, including those of now-extinct creatures like the thylacine and pig-footed bandicoot, as well as the famously hilarious "sad otter" (a giant otter specimen whose poorly executed taxidermy has become something of a cult sensation and can now be bought as a soft toy). With the animals presented in tiers from floor to ceiling, it's possible to spend hours discovering every single creature in Wild and has enthralled many a visitor to Melbourne Museum. Forget Pharlap's heart: this has been the major drawcard at Melbourne Museum for the past decade.   

Pteronura brasiliensis, Giant Otter mounted mammal specimen. Known as "Sad Otter".
Photograph: Jon AugierSad Otter will be forever in our hearts.

Replacing (sacrilege!) Wild is Melbourne Museum's newly acquired triceratops skeleton that has received much hype (partly by us). The 67-million-year-old 'triceratops horridus' skeleton is a highly significant specimen, being regarded as the most complete and best-preserved triceratops skeleton ever found. The skeleton is expected to be installed in late 2021. 

You've got until Tuesday, January 26 to see Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world before (like many of the species it houses) it disappears forever. Entry to the exhibition is free with museum entry (book your tickets here) and you can also take a virtual tour of the exhibition if leaving the home is a bit tricky right now. 

Loved Wild? Try a taxidermy workshop with Rest in Pieces.

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