Taxidermy Classes Growing In Popularity

KCBS_740 SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Believe it or not, there’s a growing interest in taxidermy classes.

It may sound morbid, but it’s something a lot of people want to learn how to do now.

Mickey Alice Kwapis of Chicago has been holding taxidermy classes around the country for the last five years.

“My students are, I would say about 95 percent female. I think that the interest in younger women starting to do taxidermy stems from sort of a feminist sort of movement where women can do any job that they want,” Kwapis told KCBS.

Retired taxidermist Larry Blomquist, who runs a trade journal and organizes what’s known as the World Taxidermy Championships, told Smithsonian.com last year he has seen a spike in interest in taxidermy in recent years.

“There definitely has been a resurgence in interest in taxidermy in the general public,” Blomquist told Smithsonian.com. “We get calls on a weekly basis, to be honest with you, from various news sources to talk about taxidermy … I love it.”

Kwapis told KCBS she’s always amused by people’s reactions when she tells them what she does. “I get a lot of people that say, ‘oh, that’s really gross,’ but then they have a leather handbag, and they’re eating a cheeseburger for lunch,” Kwapis said.

Taxidermy aficionados should be aware that in California, some stuffed animals are illegal to possess, as one San Jose woman found out last year.

Kwapis, who says that most animals are the same once you slice them open, will be holding three classes in San Jose starting on August 16th.

The cost is $200 per class. For more info on the classes, click here.

More from Mike Colgan
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