I like to do some bone/taxidermy swaps with other collectors, because there's so much more than just getting new stuff. I enjoy the exchange of stories behind the dead things and how people got them. Culpeo-Fox from over DA (https://culpeo-fox.deviantart.com/) isn't just an awesome artist, she even has a wonderful collection and we send us dead things at least once a year. And here comes a small story about that "crocodile" ;)
Oke, first of all, it's no crocodile, it's a caiman. You can tell that on its snout. Crocodiles have a narrow snout (like a V) and a characteristic tooth in the lower jaw. "Oh, a crocodile!" was just my first reaction when I opened the package ;)
Also Culpeo told me that's a caiman. Caimans belong to the alligator-family, but lives only in South America. I think that one came from a farm though, sold as a souvenir.
Look at it, it's such an oddity! It's about 52cm long and came in a very bad condition. It's so old and dry, that it broke in three pieces. A lot of sawdust get lost - my poor floor. But I glued it all together, painted the seams and also the white yarn, which was used to sew the belly together, with a brown color. I also dusted it well and put a shiny lacquer over its eyes. Almost like new? Not really ;)
It still has a lot of damages. The delicate parts like the tag and some toes are broken/lost. I guess the age of this stuffed caiman between 80-100 years. Who knows how many hands handled it, what kind of journey it made during that time.
Normally I'm more into skulls and bones than stuffed animals, but this little oddity deserves a special place in my collection. First I wanted it to hang down from the ceiling, but since it's so fragile I'm afraid to damage it even more when I have to dust it. So I will put it in the "doom box", my cabinet. Next to the little (real) crocodile skull.
I love the little details of that stuffed animal.
In foreign countries you can often find stuffed animals like sharks, turtles, blowfishes, etc. on local markets or tourist shops, but you should not buy these! Not anymore. You don't know where these stuffed animals come from, maybe they are endangered and forbidden to take over the border anyway. Culpeo got this caiman from a flea market (thank you Culpeo!).