Fremantle: the fascination of taxidermy, dead animals and all

Taxidermist Teori Shannon demonstrating at Dinosaur Discovery. Picture: WA Museum
Taxidermist Teori Shannon demonstrating at Dinosaur Discovery. Picture: WA Museum

WITH a scalpel in one hand and dead fauna in the other, a local taxidermist is changing the way Perth sees wildlife preservation one stuffed specimen at a time.

Teori Shannon said his customer base has expanded from museums and zoos, with one of his recent commissions to preserve a caught crayfish.

“I recently refused to do domestic animals but just in the past couple of weeks, a lady wanted to preserve the tail for a necklace,” he said.

“Perth is still a little bit behind in being comfortable with collecting taxidermy and displaying them.

“A lot of these animals would go to landfill and preserving them gives people an opportunity to have an up-close experience with them.”

Mr Shannon offers workshops where people work with Australian native wildlife, although some choose to bring in their own animal.

Students Deb Aldridge and Karen Cook at one of Teori Shannon’s past workshops.

“I offered a beginners’ workshop, working with a hatchling chicken and a student brought in a different bird,” he said.

“I do offer to people to bring in their road-kill birds that are naturally deceased but they need to get the okay from the Department of Parks and Wildlife.”

Mr Shannon will show people how to mount a rooster during two workshops in Fremantle over the next two weekends.

Mr Shannon said there was a misconception that taxidermy involved sourcing animals unethically.

“You can do taxidermy without having to kill anything,” he said.

“It depends on the animal but sometimes I ask bird keepers and breeders to send me naturally deceased animals.

“People will contact me quite regularly, at least once a week people will call me to send road kill.”

DETAILS

Mount a Rooster taxidermy workshop

When: June 24-25 & July 7-8, 10am – 5.30pm

Where: Inkling Art Space, 42 Henry Street, Fremantle

Tickets: Click here.