Delbridge group to conduct own assessment of taxidermy collection
Zoo director says cost estimates shared with councilors last month are likely higher than what new projections might bring
Getting a firmer estimate on what it will take to repair and safely display rare animal taxidermy is top of mind for a panel studying options for the 170-piece collection at the Delbridge Museum of Natural History.
During Wednesday's inaugural meeting of a workgroup tasked with coming up with options for what’s known as the Brockhouse Collection, members indicated that a professional taxidermist will need to be hired before any determinations are made.
“Our group should probably hire a third party... just so we have the appropriate data to make a recommendation,” said Councilor Alex Jensen, one of eight members appointed to the workgroup by Mayor Paul TenHaken. “That’s what the City Council wants to see.”
While the Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum partnered with an appraiser in the summer of 2022 to assess the value of the mounts, they did not obtain cost estimates associated with repairing them. Additionally, the valuation report is not being shared with the workgroup.
That’s because the zoo’s agreement with the appraiser requires written consent to distribute, Great Plains Zoo CEO Becky Dewitz said.
“I do not believe we will receive written permission at this point in time,” she explained.
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