At Ruaraka, near Nairobi, Kenya's largest taxidermy firm... Zimmerman's... is at present handling an estimated?
MV PAN..stuffed animals displayed
MV Zebra skin being taped out
CV Tusk polished
MV African brushing-up coats
CU Bone being used
MV Skins cleaned and shaved
MV Leopard skin stitched
CV Partly finished lioness
CV Tail combed out
CVs pins knocked into animal head
MCU African working on rhino head
MV Skin placed onto antelope frame
LV Finishing touches to leopards
MV Nearly completed trophies on wall
CU Three mounted lions in row
Initials ES. 1425 ES. 1500
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: At Ruaraka, near Nairobi, Kenya's largest taxidermy firm... Zimmerman's... is at present handling an estimated 70 per cent of the current trophy trade in East Africa. It employs 170 skilled workers to prepare and mount the wide range of hunting trophies which are the product of a never-ending stream of game safaris... this despite the huge decrease of the wild game population through indiscriminate killing in recent decades. At Zimmerman's workshops, where everything from a rhino to an elephant-hair bracelet is handled, more than 400 thousand dollars worth of trophies are prepared for huntsmen each year.
SYNOPSIS: Taxidermy has always been an important industry in Africa. Today it's making an increasing contribution tot he economy of East Africa... particularly where earnings from tourists are concerned.
Despite the huge decrease in the wild game population in recent decades... the result of indiscriminate killing... an ever-increasing number of hunting safaris is providing a steady stream of work for East African taxidermists. This highly-skilled industry is understandably expanding rapidly as a result.
Here at Ruaraka, near Nairobi, the firm of Zimmermans employs 170 skilled workers in its taxidermy workshop. Only five of the staff are Europeans, and most have highly specialised jobs.
This firm's turnover has increased by 70 per cent over the past four years, and now handles an estimated 70 per cent of all the present trophy trade in East Africa. 400 thousand dollars-worth of trophies are prepared and mounted for visiting hunters each year.
A wide range of trophies is handled.... from rhinos, such as this one, to antelopes and even elephant-hair bracelets.
Hunting is an increasingly expensive pastime. A top-class month-long safari for two, may cost over 10-thousand dollars, and the preparation and mounting of an average number of trophies could cost a further thousand dollars.