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Taxidermists Have The Right Stuff

September 16, 1989|Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich and Susan Davis Greene / Los Angeles Times; Graphics by Thomas Penix / Los Angeles Times

The art of taxidermy is a technique for preserving and showing animals as they appeared when they were alive. It requires a knowledge of anatomy, sculpture, tanning, dyeing, painting and natural history.

Orange County at one time had enough professional taxidermists to require counting with both hands. Today there are just three.

There appears to be a trend in bereaved pet owners who are turning to taxidermists in order to keep their beloved animals with them forever. Most taxidermists refuse to work on pets because, they say, the owners are never really satisfied. Taxidermists say they can make animals look like they're alive, but they can't put personalities in their faces.

Two of the three are willing to handle pets. Some of those they have worked on include iguanas, hamsters, dogs, cats and snakes.

And yes, it's against the law to stuff a human being (though the request is still made). The prices listed below include mounting.

BOB'S TAXIDERMY

1912 W. Commonwealth Ave.

Fullerton

(714) 870-8282

Fish: $200 minimum 18-20 inches; over 20 inches, $10 per inch

Pheasant: $95

Waterfowl: $95 to $225

Deer's head: $295

Bear's head: $300

Small life-size bear: $1,525

No pets

Takes 6 to 9 months

Most unusual animal prepared: Saiga antelope and wombat

Smallest: mouse

Largest: giraffe

LIVING DESIGNS TAXIDERMY

917 Sunset Drive

Costa Mesa

(714) 645-4820

Fish: $180 minimum up to 20 inches; over 20 inches, $9 per inch

Pheasant: $95

Waterfowl: $95 and up

Deer's head: $275

Bear's head: $300

Small life-size bear: $1,200

Bison (buffalo)-3 years old-about 900 pounds): $2,500

Will do pets with the exception of dogs and cats.

Takes about 6 months

Most unusual animal prepared: pet monkey

Smallest: finch

Largest: buffalo

TROPHY ROOM TAXIDERMY

11801 Cardinal Circle

Garden Grove

(714) 534-6370

Fish: $180 minimum up to 20 inches; over 20 inches, $9 per inch

Pheasant: $85

Waterfowl: $95 to $125

Deer's head: $260

Bear's head: $270

Small bear: $1,400

Bison (buffalo): $3,000

Bison head: $625

Cats: (10-15 pounds) $400

Dogs: (10-15 pounds) $500

May take up to one year

Most unusual animal prepared: rhinoceros (head)

Smallest: turtle embryo

Largest: polar bear

Source: Individual taxidermists and the National Taxidermy Association

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