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South Pacific Taxidermy

Hello and welcome to the website of South Pacific Taxidermy and Australian taxidermist, Gary Pegg.

Thanks largely to the IT boom of the late 1990s, the world has seen some incredible changes in the day to day lifestyle of many people, in particular how we source information and communicate with each other.

I remember back some 20 years when l first embarked upon my journey into the fascinating world of taxidermy, technical information of any sort was practically non-existent. Today, thanks to computers and the World Wide Web, with a touch of a few buttons on a keyboard, the windows to the mysterious world of taxidermy have been thrown open for everyone to view.

l hope that you find all our pages of interest, especially the taxidermy and gallery pages. I also believe that our links page is a must for any practicing taxidermist. Add this one to your list of favorite sites!

Over time l shall endeavor to expand and build upon these initial footings and will continue to add new categories relevant to taxidermists, wildlife artists and hunters.

Regardless of where you may live, l hope this site will become a source of information in helping you to further your knowledge of the fascinating world of taxidermy.

In Australia, there is one taxidermy studio that merits distinction beyond words - South Pacific Taxidermy.

Situated in Melbourne, South Pacific Taxidermy has achieved international acclaim as Australia's leading taxidermy studio. Owner and Master Taxidermist Gary Pegg is the only Australian taxidermist and one of only a handful of persons outside of North America to have received certification by the National Taxidermists Association of the USA.

A Lifetime Member of the NTA, Gary has been a pioneering influence in taxidermy excellence within Australia. With over 20 years involvement within the industry Gary and the team at South Pacific Taxidermy combine to offer Australia's most experienced and trusted taxidermy studio.

Located off the M3 Northern Ring-road exit at Thomastown, 20 minutes from Melbourne's international airport, South Pacific Taxidermy is the only commercial facility of its kind in Australia. This 2800 sq. ft. facility is also host to one of Australia's most extensive collections of native wildlife mounts held under special license authority.

South Pacific Taxidermy is a licensed Commercial Wildlife Taxidermist Type 2, in accordance with the Victorian Wildlife Act 1975.

We are also licensed under the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS )Act 1908 as an approved treatment facility for imported animal skins and hides.

Our showroom and factory are open during regular trading days, Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.30pm and on Saturday by prior appointment

With over 20 years involvement in the taxidermy industry, South Pacific Taxidermy has the experience required when dealing with matters of trophy transportation, both internationally and nationally and with Customs and CITES importation requirements, quarantine and other matters related to state and federal wildlife possession.

Licenced in accordance with the Victorian Wildlife Act as a Commercial Taxidermist Type 2, we are able to advise people wishing to purchase items of native wildlife of the requirements of law in relation to trade.

Our vast inventory of specimens on display and for sale enables us to offer a wide selection of mounts for use in the film, advertising and theatrical industries.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Taxidermy as: "the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting skins of animals with lifelike effect "

The word taxidermy is derived from the two ancient Greek words taxis, meaning movement and derma, meaning skin; the literal meaning of the word taxidermist is 'one whom arranges skins of animals into a lifelike manner'.

Although the art of taxidermy can be traced back to the times of the ancient Egyptians who practiced a form of taxidermy in the mummification of sacred animals for inclusion in the tombs of the great Pharaohs, taxidermy has remained one of the least understood art forms of modern man.

On the occasions l have informed people that l am a taxidermist, l have often been met with the surprised response that "oh, - you stuff dead animals!" Whilst most practitioners of the art of taxidermy cringe at such, may l say " raw " definitions of this art, in some respects they are correct in identifying at least some aspects of our work.

Much of the earlier examples of taxidermy were merely specimens of cured skin stuffed to size with cotton, straw or grasses and hence the derivation of the term "stuffed".

With the emergence of the plastics era in the 1960s, taxidermy entered the world of mass production. The use of polyester fibreglass moulds to manufacture high volume polyurethane foam manikins signalled the sunset of the labour intensive laminated paper and plaster forms of the time and the mechanisation of polyurethane form production to come.

Significant advances have also been made in the past 30-40 years in the science of tanning and leather production with the manufacture of specialised equipment for the shaving of leathered capes and hides for specific use by taxidermists. New tanning compounds have now been formulated, designed exclusively for ”fur on” leather tanning, whilst the age old craft of hand production of glass eyes has seen the introduction of computer technology, thus eliminating much of the traditional skills involved with glass manufacture and coloring.

As we look back at the definition of taxidermy by the Oxford Dictionary, modern technology has now improved or enhanced many aspects of taxidermy. Improved chemicals and equipment have advanced the tanning techniques of hides and skins, the initial step in the sound preparation of all animal skins, whilst the use of prefabricated plastic forms have all but eliminated the traditional concept of animal stuffing.

All that now remains, which signals the salt of any true artist, is the ability of the individual to capture the essence of the specimen in question, thus satisfying the term “lifelike effect“.

South Pacific Taxidermy
39 Nevin Drive
Thomastown Victoria 3074
61 3 9466 2687

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