Whilst strolling through the streets of Paris I visited what can only be described as a bizarre taxidermy zoo. Deyrolle is a shop cum gallery dedicated to "preserved" animals... which apart from the beautifully coloured beetles and butterflies from around the world, has a collection of animals big and small and has been around since 1831. Not really knowing what to expect but certainly not realising how confronting it would be I wandered in and up the stairs to the first floor. A 7' bear welcomed me into the space and then suddenly i was surrounded by wild cats, birds in flight, majestic deer and even a giraffe and calf. All dead. The shop itself is in a grand turn of the century building with high ceilings and all manner of period details which whisk you back in time and make you feel like royalty (yes i do have a vivid imagination) but the animals... Spectacular! I have to say that I am a fairly passionate animal lover, I don't for the most part condone wearing them. Mink coats and fox furs are not morally compatible with my values, though I do wear leather shoes, so where does that leave a prowling lion frozen forever in motion? Or a display cabinet of glorious butterflies with pins in them? Well, I at the moment my french is not good enough to engage the shop assistants in a discussion of animal rights, so I have decided that to stuff an animal that died naturally is ok. To then put that animal in your lounge room? That's just personal taste.
This little Parisian gem is a curiosity in the very least. . Click here to have a squiz at what i am talking about ... but for the english version you'll have to use the good old google translate tool.