-Are the animals and plants real?
The mammals on display are the mammals’ real skin and fur, glued over a hollow body-shaped form. Most forms are made of fiberglass or foam. Some are made by a process similar to papier-mâché, using burlap instead of paper. Some of the exhibits plants are real and some are replicas made of plastic, fiberglass, or other materials.
-Why are there real animals in the exhibits?
Real animals allow the public to see the most accurate and life-like representations of wildlife, and to see the animals closer than is usually possible in a zoo or photograph. The museum also uses replicas. However replicas may not look as realistic and can often be too expensive to create.
-Where did the animals come from?
Nearly all the animals in the exhibits were donated by Jimmie C. Rosenbruch and his family. Worldwide Government Wildlife Agencies administered licenses and permits to obtain nearly 300 species collected over a lifetime. The collection is appraised at over four million dollars. The majority of this went to Wildlife management for habitat protection, anti-poaching, and other efforts to preserve wildlife populations. No animals were collected specifically for the museum.
-Why does the museum display animals?
Two important reasons are education and research. Wildlife exhibits teach about animals, increase awareness of ecological issues, and foster support for the preservation of threatened and endangered species. Museum collections can also be used to research related evolution, classifications, form and function, and conservation.
-How do museum collections help research and conservation?
Animals can be compared to older specimens to analyze changes in the development of species or subspecies through time, or in comparing specimens from different geographic locations. Hair or other animal parts can be analyzed to determine genetic changes or effects of pollution. Old collections may contain species that today are endangered or extinct. By studying these animals, we can learn their ecological requirements and identify factors that threaten existing populations. Such information supports wildlife reserves and conservation strategies.
-What other collections does the museum have besides mammals?
We currently have other exhibits on display, including our amazing bug room!
-Does the museum still accept animals?
Due to space restrictions, the museum is not accepting animals at this time.
-Do museums cause species to become threatened or endangered?
Absolutely not! Furthermore, the Rosenbruch Wildlife Museum does not collect nor does it issue directives to collect animals. Habitat destruction is responsible for the vast majority of endangered species today. Introduction of non-native species, particularly on islands, has endangered or exterminated many animals. Illegal poaching threatens some wildlife, especially in Africa and Asia. Regulated hunting has never threatened any species.
-Why are threatened and endangered species on exhibit?
Many of the animals on display were collected as long as 45 years ago. Usually they were common species in their part of the world. Years later, habitat destruction or sometimes illegal poaching led to their endangerment. Now these animals serve to educate and can foster concern to protect wildlife.
-Museums can help wildlife
Many collections in natural history museums contain hundreds of specimens gathered over the years. These are a library of nature, organized and protected so that scientists can work with the objects to increase our collective knowledge.
All living things are members of ecological systems. If we can learn how these ecosystems work, then we can provide better protection.
To know about wild animals can mean understanding and caring about them. Museums can foster our awareness and concern for other living things.