An amateur taxidermist has caused controversy over his hybrid animal stuffings which combine body parts from creatures that have been killed on the roads.
Andrew Lancaster, 57, took up taxidermy in his spare time 14 years ago – shortly after moving from England to New Zealand. Entirely self- taught, Mr Lancaster has experimented with animal creations for the last two years, regarding the work as ‘art’.
“Some people call me sick and some think it’s pretty good,” Mr Lancaster told New Zealand website Stuff. “I saw heaps of dead things on the side of the road and thought it was a waste. When I’m driving along the road and see something I pull up and go back for it,” he admitted.
Mr Lancaster, now living in Tauranga, New Zealand, sells the animal hybrids on Trade Me – the Kiwi equivalent of Craigslist. Working during the day as a marina caretaker, he creates his custom animals in the evenings and on days off.
The amateur taxidermist said he collects birds, pheasants, rats, ferrets and has even found possum babies – discovered inside of their mother’s pouch. Mr Lancaster insists that he only works on animals he finds dead and would never hunt an animal. The unique hybrids have developed a following as his Facebook site ‘Andrew Lancaster Taxidermy Creations’ currently has 241 fans.
Mr Lancaster’s wife has stopped him from keeping many of the animals but he admitted to keeping a pheasant that he “picked up from the road one morning”.