international wildlife museum of Tuscon

11. International Wildlife Museum

The International Wildlife Museum of Tucson rests in the western residential hills of the city. It houses an enormity of dioramas, animal wholes, animal parts, animals eating, walking, swimming, flying. Skin and foam and fur suspended in an exquisitely simulated afterlife of valiant action and pleasant rest.

At the start of exhibits a didactic describing goals and intentions of The Safari Club the Safari club:

"One of SCI/F’s primary goals is to attain sustainable-use management of wildlife resources combined with community based wildlife management. SCI/F spends millions of dollars annually on conservation in two ways. SCI chapters carry out local conservation projects with money that they raised themselves, augmented in many cases by SCI matching grants. The SCI conservation committee carries out regional and global conservation programs coordinated through our Washington D.C. office.

SCI/F’s global conservation activities included programs to combat the decline in the mule deer population and the disease problems in Midwestern white-tailed deer, research on jaguar habitat requirements In southern Mexico, grizzly and black bear management work in Canada, research on the stratus of European brown bears, conservation and management of Asian wild sheep, cheetah conservation in Namibia, the establishment of model wildlife conservation programs sustained by hunting activities in Siberia, and the analysis of the scientific issues affecting hunting and wildlife conservation.

The series of exhibits to be presented here will highlight individual projects that are significant in terms of the money granted by the SCI chapters, the biological importance of the investigations, and the impact the project had on conserving wildlife and protecting the right to hunt."

The Museum also holds the recreated family room of the big game hunter and Safari club founder C.J. McElroy. McElroy bagged the largest trophy specimens to bag then had them stuffed and stuck in his living room. The I.W.M recreates McElroy's living room to house the kills.

The atmosphere shift of the McElroy room lured some visitors in for short periods, others only peeked, but the majority hung around for quite awhile. Most of the creature displays were traditional hunting head-mounts as opposed to the full-body natural history specimens of the museum. The bulk were large horned males. Each creature hung above a small brass plate engraved with the species name. The animals were dramatically lit, and what I surmise to be African music beat and fluted about the room.

I took a fairly short video that hopefully gives a sense of the space and the sounds:

The room holds 350+ animal mounts in total. African specimens, goats & sheep from both Asia and North America, deer species of Europe, Asia, of N. America., wild cattle, elephants, rhinos, and hippos.

The McElroy room encouraged my thoughts to consider how one might direct their life in way of career, hobby, practice, obsession. I thought about how McElroy killed 350plus monumental mammals from around the world in his lifetime and how a guy in Darwin, Minnesota made the world's largest ball of twine in his. I thought about the impact of a single human.

In Paul Martin's "Twilight of the Mammoths" he discusses the overkill theory of extinctions of the Late Pleistocene mega fauna. Martin believes that the earliest HomoSapiens to arrive in North America, the Clovis people, were responsible for the destruction of mega fauna species, the mammoths, the mastodons, the giant sloths. I learned about the international wildlife museum from Martin. His book, mentioned above, was released in the McElroy room of the the International Wildlife Museum.

A short climbing drive west brought Corey and I over the Tucson Mountains into the Saguaro National Park West.