The Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute (CSWRI) in Avikanagar, Rajasthan, a pioneer institute had approached country's only taxidermist, Dr Santosh Gaikwad, for a model of two sheeps, which will be kept in a sheep breeding museum. Within a span of one-and-half month, Dr Gaikwad made the model, which was flown to Rajasthan and reached on Saturday.
The CSWRI is a premier institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research engaged in research, training and extension activities on sheeps and rabbits
For the past three months, CSWRI had been looking for a taxidermist. Finally, through the internet they came to know about Dr Gaikwad and requested him to do this assignment.
CSWRI had sent a skin of Malpura and Pathnwadi, (breeds of sheep) and asked to make trophies out of this, which will be kept in their museum.
"This is quite a challenging job but I have a lot of experience. They gave me one-and-half month for the assignment and within the given time I had completed the work. This is a different and exciting assignment," said Dr Gaikwad.
Ever since the taxidermy centre was set up at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivli, in 2009, Dr Gaikwad has made more than 10 animal trophies. These include a Siberian tiger, a snow leopard, lion, a leopard, a python, an ostrich and more than 150 birds. The centre has also successfully preserved a 140-year-old turtle, which had been found in a Pune river.
Taxidermy (Greek for 'moving skin') is the art of mounting or reproducing animals for display. The skin of a dead animal is removed, tanned and treated. The carcass is then moulded in plaster. The mould is used to produce a cast of the animal. Glass eyes and artificial teeth are added to the display.