It is not likely that a stuffed animal died of natural causes. Most of these animals were killed specifically for decorative reasons. Although trophy taxidermy still exists, most taxidermists work with animals that have not been euthanized solely for the purpose of taxidermy. Taxidermy is the art of preserving an animal's body by mounting (on armor) or filling, for the purpose of exhibiting or studying it.
Animals are often, but not always, depicted in a realistic state. The word taxidermy describes the process of preserving the animal, but the word is also used to describe the final product, which is called taxidermy supports or is simply known as taxidermy. The word taxidermy is derived from the Greek words taxis and derma. Taxis means disposition, and derma means skin (the dermis).
The word taxidermy translates to disposition of the skin. From that moment on, taxidermists began to stretch the animal's skin on sculpted molds, or mannequins, typically made of polyurethane foam. The animal is first skinned in a process similar to removing the skin from a chicken before cooking it. This means that I never know what animals I am going to receive and in what state they will be found.
The stress that hunted animals endure caused by fear and the inescapable loud noises and shock that hunters create negatively affects their normal eating habits, making it difficult for them to store the fat and energy they need to survive the winter. Instead, hunters try to kill the largest and strongest animals to hang them over their chimneys, but these animals are necessary to keep the gene pool strong. However, if caught alive, the cleanest way to kill the animal before preparation would have been gas. Other modern uses of taxidermy have been the use of false taxidermy or fake animal heads that are inspired by traditional taxidermy.
For large pets, such as dogs and cats, freeze drying is also the best way to capture the animal's expression as it appeared in life (another major concern for owners). I don't support anyone who breaks those laws, because they are in place to protect animals. A good friend of mine is a veterinary technician, and she donates animals not claimed by their owners who have died in her office, as well as stray animals that cannot be rehabilitated. I consider myself an ethical taxidermist, since I only use animals that have died from a natural cause or an accident.
In the regions surrounding Chicago, certain animals cannot be released again if they become trapped as pests, due to the risk of parasites and diseases such as rabies. The hunter then displays the fiberglass head on the wall instead of the real animal's head to commemorate the hunting experience. Occasionally it means that I will start working on an animal, but I find that it is not good to use it and I have to throw it away, which I find very sad and frustrating.
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