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Spring
2018
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Giraffe

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GiraffeThe Giraffe is mounted a couple feet higher than the typical height of a giraffe due to the structure of the wall and to reserve space for a future Okapi mount. It is the only other living member of the giraffe family. On the door of the deer display case is a set of horns from an extinct African giraffe whose horns so strongly resembled deer antlers that it was originally described as some sort of African deer. However, subsequently found specimens proved that it was really a giraffe. Two other extinct types of giraffe horns are on display in the deer case. Giraffes, Pronghorn antelope and deer had a common ancestor about 40+ million years ago.

This display's history

Several years ago Dr. Delbert Sowerby of Anderson, California donated a standing, full body mount of an African Kudu to the museum. We didn’t really have enough floor space to safely house and display it here at Sierra. However, a museum in Stockton specialized in such full body mounts and were happy to do a long term loan exchange of some of their head mounts in storage for another specimen they could display. They loaned us four African animal head mounts, an elephant, hippo and a black and a white rhino. Shortly after that the director of the Stockton museum had a heart attack and died. The assistant director was not up to maintaining the museum so it soon closed. Most of their specimens were sent to the Safari Club’s McElroy museum in Tucson, Arizona, but they gave us the Sloth, Fallow deer, Peccary, Whitetail deer and others.

Because the Arizona museum already had mounts of the kinds of animals we had borrowed the loans became ours by default. Conversations with Bob White of the Arizona museum disclosed that they could use a Caribou head mount and had an extra Giraffe mount. So we exchanged extra specimens. 

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