By means of taxidermy you can properly research the skeleton anatomy of a hedgehog and the taxidermy pieces can then continue to be used for education, for example at fairs or in schools. At The Hedgehog Program we have a started a collection of mounted hedgehogs, skeletons and skulls of different types of hedgehogs. We do not offer taxidermy services to others, this collection is privately owned and not rented out.
Skeletonizing an animal is cleaning the body until there is no flesh left. When you use dermistid beetles for this, the skeleton remains intact, including all the cartilage. When macerated in water, only the hard bone remains. We mainly use maceration at The Hedgehog Program.
Mounting an animal is preparing skin and fur and gluing it back on a mold as natural as possible. The result is an almost living-looking animal. We currently do not do this at The Hedgehog Program, but we can have it done by more experienced taxidermists.
In the case of mammals, making a wet specimen is mainly done with organs or with very young animals. The deceased animals are also injected with Formalin and then placed in a jar with this chemical substance. As a result, the animal is completely preserved.
African pygmy hedgehog
This skeleton of an African pygmy hedgehog has been our first project. The hedgehog used for this, is a hedgehog that was born to a Danish breeder and has came to live with us as a young hoglet. Her name is Dælynn and she died of old age, after a long life well lived. Her skeleton is mainly used for educational purposes at schools and events.
Long-eared hedgehog skull
Our second skeleton project is a Long-eared hedgehog called Kalea. She was also born in Denmark and has lived with us since she was a young hoglet. Unfortunately she passed away suddenly at a much too young age and we wanted to give her a nice place in the house. The snail shell displayed is also from our own collection of Giant African land snails: Limicolaria flammea.
This Desert Hedgehog was donated to us by a breeder from The Hague and he died very suddenly. Unfortunately, this happens more often with wild-caught animals. The hedgehog is planned to be mounted by another taxidermist, a picture will follow afterwards.
This European hedgehog was donated to us by a local hedgehog shelter. He was aestimated to be only 6 months old and died suddenly at the shelter after being declared healthy. We got his skeleton after they checked his information and cleared him for donation. This skeleton is therefore used by the shelter to provide education in schools, as a collaboration piece. Currently we are still finishing off this project, pictures will follow soon.