If Ted Nugent ever opens up a museum, expect it to look exactly like the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum. Purchased in 2003 by the Montgomery Zoo, the collection of 70 life-size taxidermied animals were trophy kills by world-record-holding bow and arrow hunter George Mann, who sometimes carried them on his back for miles out in the wilderness. Who knows why the hell a zoo would want dead (and probably threatened) animal species killed by a hunter displayed next to the live versions? The two don’t really go together. But this is Alabama we’re talking about (no offense), which also happens to be the home of the Spear Hunting Museum. So that probably explains it. Anyway, the Mann Museum rationalizes hunting by depicting carnivorous animals and their prey in threatening and somewhat ridiculous poses.
Amongst the stuffed bears, wolves, and mountain lions are displays like “A Hare Raisin Experience” where a lynx attempts to kills it food of choice, the horseshoe hare, and “Smart as a Fox” where a willow ptarmigan is attacked by…you guessed it…a fox. The exhibit labels tend to emphasize that hunting and killing are natural behaviors, which I agree with completely. But I do have a problem when the killing of animals is assorted with entertainment or blood sport instead of, say, survival and food. I don’t understand how a hunter who spends half the year killing all kinds of creatures, like George Mann, is considered to be a dedicated wildlife conservationist who has been awarded by the State Governor for his efforts. Maybe conservation has a different meaning down in Alabama???