The Trashed and the Furriest: Peterborough transfer station’s collection of taxidermied animals grows

  • For years the Peterborough Recycling Center has collected unwanted taxidermy animals and put them on display in the station. Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • For years the Peterborough Recycling Center has collected unwanted taxidermy animals and put them on display in the station. Ben Conant—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 

  • For years the Peterborough Transfer Station has collected unwanted taxidermy animals and put them on display in the station. STAFF PHOTO BY Ben Conant 

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/28/2017 10:15:36 AM

Peterborough Transfer Station’s Recycling Manager Scott Bradford once dug a stuffed rabbit that was missing and ear and had a crushed cigarette dangling from the corner of its mouth from a dumpster.

It was the first piece in what’s now a large collection of specimens that hang from a wall, stand on a shelf, and are mounted on top of beams in the station.

His reason for saving the rabbit was pretty simple.

“‘Just ‘cause it was cool looking,” Bradford said.

Bradford said the second piece in the collection was a “horribly done” boar’s head. He said that one came from a company that cleans out foreclosed properties. He was watching the company’s employees closely to make sure they weren't throwing out electronic or hazardous waste when he spotted the boar.

“I saw the boar’s head and I told the guy, ‘I’ll take that,’” Bradford said.

Later, Bradford said an older guy came in and said he had shot a deer in Maine, taken it to a taxidermist, and was now looking to get rid of the mount. The man’s grandkids had gotten ahold of the animal at some point and smeared the inside of its nostrils and the outer corners of its lips with red paint.

After those three items, Bradford said, “people just started bringing stuff in.” 

Now, there’s two walls lined with dozens of animals including a range of waterfowl, a bobcat, falcons, a racoon, a black bear’s head, turtles, a skunk, and a gray squirrel clutching a nut.

Some of the animals are falling apart, others are sun bleached from years of sitting in a window. No matter the condition though, Bradford said he’ll take the unwanted animals in.

Bradford said almost everyday people, especially kids, come into the station to look at the collection. New residents will come in too, snap pictures and send them off to their friends and family who live outside of the area. Others will post pictures on social media sites like Instagram.

“It’s pretty wild,” Bradford said of how much the collection has grown since he saved that first rabbit with a cigarette dangling out of its mouth.

The most recent addition is a massive elk head that is now mounted in the center of the display. Bradford said a woman whose husband died donated the item.

So far it’s Bradford’s favorite in the collection.

But he’s still holding out hope that someone will bring in a certain type of fish.

If and when that happens, he’ll take down the fake signing bass off the wall goes that off sporadically throughout the day without any warning due to its finicky batteries.

When asked if there will come a point when they no longer will be able to accept the animals, he shook his head and said, “no, we’ll keep finding room.”

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or

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