The National Buffalo Museum’s newest exhibit is installed and ready for visitors. It is an interactive life-size taxidermied bison lying on its side with a fiberglass cavity fit with removable internal organ and bone replicas. Visitors can learn about the anatomy and physiology of bison by taking apart and reassembling the various parts of the bison.
The unique exhibit was designed and fabricated by KidZibits in St. Paul, MN. Their designers and craftspeople had to acquire a tanned bison hide, create a base and form sturdy enough to withstand years of handling by visitors, research the size, shape and orientation of bison organs, sculpt them from appropriate materials, and finally make sure that the exhibit is safe, durable, accurate and attractive. Creating this would have been difficult enough under any circumstances, but the added complication of the COVID-19 pandemic made this work challenging, as it did most jobs across industries.
“The museum’s exhibits have focused heavily on the cultural significance of the American bison through the years, and while that is important, we have been looking for more opportunities to introduce visitors to bison physiology and behavior, which is linked to their prairie habitat,” said Executive Director Ilana Xinos. “We’ve also been looking for ways to increase the interactivity of our exhibits. We know that visitors absorb more information when they learn while doing something fun.” She added, “We are very grateful for the generous grants from Jamestown Tourism and the support of our donors, which made this exhibit possible.”