European Taxidermy Championships
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European title for stuffed animals

250 participants from more than 30 nations presented their exhibits at the European Championships for Animal Preparers in Salzburg. Among them zebra jumping spiders and a brown-headed spider monkey.

With the Braunkopfklammeraffen Daniel Salzer from Rhineland-Palatinate European champion in the category mammals. He even won a special award in the category "Show". A total of 350 exhibits - including mammals, birds, fish and reptiles - were submitted for evaluation.

Animals from the zoo or from the wild

In addition to hunting trophies and dogs and showpieces for museums are exhibited in the Salzburg exhibition center. "It's partly animals that come from zoos. But for the most part, it is also animals that have died naturally in the wild and are taken to museums or brought together, "said European champion Salzer.

Vice European Champion Marie-Christine Scheinpflug from Stuttgart won with a Jaguar. "The animal comes from the Stuttgart Wilhelma, the Stuttgart Zoo. This is a jaguar lady named Petra, who turned 23, "said the Animal Preparer.



The "real" look of this female jaguar was one reason for the award

Handicraft with real idols

For example, the championship assessed quality and proximity to the living animal. It's about creating showpieces for eternity, said Matthias Fahrni, organizer and juror. "We are artists, and what we do is a craft. The difference is: we have an idol to follow - nature, the living animals. "

Even real scene experts from abroad came to Salzburg. Travis de Villiers from South Africa is considered an expert in the preparation of big cats. With a lot of sensitivity, he breathes the Siberian Tiger something like a second life. For him, big cats are very expressive: "When they hit the tail, they are agitated. Backed ears mean displeasure, when you observe a mouse, the ears are facing forward, and the whiskers tremble - this must be taken into account, if the animal preparation is to act lifelike. "

"Dream job" for those interested

For other animal preparers, it's simply their dream job: "As a small child I've already collected feathers and bones from bird nests. Then I had a biology teacher who showed me how to prepare smaller animals. And then I learned that there are people who live full-time, I was interested in that, and since then I have not done anything else professionally, "said European Champion Salzer.

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Studio Kristin Hulda