This ‘Ethical Taxidermist’ Is Making Art Out Of Roadkill

This ‘Ethical Taxidermist’ Is Making Art Out Of Roadkill

Bunny Lane is not your typical taxidermist. The aptly named “ethical taxidermist” goes far beyond your average deer mounts, elevating the craft to a one-of-a-kind art form.

As the subject of a recent, must-read Country Roads Magazine profile, Bunny shows off both her technical knowledge of how to preserve a bobcat hide, and the process of reincarnating roadkill into whimsical home decor.

What is an “ethical” taxidermist? This refers to a new generation of taxidermists who source “specimens that have died, if not naturally, at least in the ways animals die in the country.”

She relies heavily on roadkill and the body count produced by her cats, and made her bones practicing with rabbit skins discarded by a man who raised the animals for food. (This experience has made her enjoy working with rabbits more than many of her peers do; the paper-thin skin and need to get the ears propped up can both cause challenges.) Some neighbors called when their goat delivered a stillbirth, and others call when they see a carcass worth salvaging: ‘There’s a raccoon out by the Family Dollar!’ Lane has to move quickly when she finds an animal she wants to preserve, since Mississippi heat encourages busy insects and natural decay, but she can do a lot with an individual a non-taxidermist might see as a lost cause—she casually mentions ‘guts hanging out’ with the same, ‘eh, you know, work is work’ tone we office drones use for overflowing inboxes.

The new genre of taxidermy honors animals who have died a natural death, and elevates their lives to something far beyond the life they experienced or could have even imagined as your average squirrel, otter, or baby rabbit. It opens the door for artists to take liberty with the original Creator’s designs, and take on a more challenging and creative project than traditional taxidermists might encounter.

“You can buy a form of a squirrel holding a nut—how boring—but if you want to make a wildcat look like Little Richard you have to do it yourself,” Bunny told writer Chris Turner-Neal.

Here some of Bunny’s most out-of-the-box designs:

1. ‘Paint Me Like One of Your French Squirrels’

 

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2. The Nutty Barber Shop

3. The Snake Handler!

You haven’t seen it all until you’ve seen a circus possum with snake charms.

 

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4. Winged-Bobcat-Jackalope

I think the Apostle John describes one of these in the book of Revelation.

5. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Nutts

This squirrel scampered straight out of a Seurat painting.

 

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6. A Squirrel Carousel

 

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7. A One-Man Beaver Band

 

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8. Pennywise The Bunny

Check out more of Bunny Lane’s beautiful work here.

Madeline is a staff writer at the Federalist and the producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Follow her on Twitter.
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