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Wrangell Museum hunts for feet

The Wrangell Museum has a lot of stuff. It’s chock full of everything from artifacts to taxidermied animals. But there’s one unusual thing the museum doesn’t have. KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver has more on the search for this elusive item.

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Museum director Megan Clark says something’s afoot at the Wrangell Museum. Unfortunately, it’s not feet.

“My problem here is that I went through our gallery and none of our animals seem to have feet. They all either seem to be head mounts or they’re just skins laying there. So, I’m having a heck of a time finding feet,” says Clark.

That’s hard to believe. We’re walking through the main exhibit which is filled to the gills with animals, all of which once led lives of walking. But, not anymore.

The only feet in the museum belong to Shady and museum director Megan Clark - Photo by Shady Grove Oliver/KSTK

The only feet in the museum belong to Shady and museum director Megan Clark – Photo by Shady Grove Oliver/KSTK

“The condition of the animals in this room is…flat. They’ve all been tanned and they’re just hanging up,” says Clark.

So, why all the fuss about feet?

The museum runs interactive programs once a month, geared toward families with children.

Clark says she’d like to do some workshops on footprints and animal biology. But to do that, she needs all the parts.

“Museums tend to have two different kinds of collections. One is the normal collection that everybody thinks of. Another one is a use collection and those items are already marked to be handled and damaged and whatnot,” says Clark.

The feet will join the use collection at first and then be added to outreach education kits.

Those kits can be checked out by local teachers and homeschool groups for hands-on learning.

Since she’s got nothing to work with now, Clark says, she’s open to any donations.

“I don’t need a pair of feet. I could have one foot. If you happen to have a front and back foot, that would be perfect. If you don’t, that’s alright, too,” says Clark.

Clark says she’s especially interested in mammals, like bears or wolves.

But, really, the only requirement is that the feet be from some type of animal found in Southeast Alaska.

“No, it’s really rather frustrating. I’ve got lots of birds. I’ve got lots of fish…no legs…”

If you have some feet you’d like to donate, you can bring them in person to the museum.

If you are out of town, you can mail them to:

Wrangell Museum

PO Box 1050

Wrangell, Alaska 99929

For more information, call the museum at 907-874-3770.

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