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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Curator's Corner: Outsmarted

   ottoman

One of our visitors’ favorite objects is a large footstool or ottoman covered in zebra skin. This object was confiscated when imported to the United States because the skin is from a Hartmann’s Mountain zebra. Many zebras are not protected by the Endangered Species Act, but the Hartmann’s Mountain zebra is listed as threatened under the ESA, which makes it illegal to import it or its parts without permits. The wildlife inspector who saw it was talented enough to recognize it, even though the difference between its pattern and that of non-endangered zebras is subtle to the untrained eye. I am always amazed at the impressive smarts our employees have.

Jeanne M. Harold, curator of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Museum and Archives at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, says the history surrounding the objects in the museum gives them life.

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Fish & Wildlife News   This article is a preview of the winter issue of Fish & Wildlife News, our quarterly magazine. The issue is due online in finished form in mid-February.

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