Rare Hunting Trophies Auctioned Off

By: Brittany Gunter Email
By: Brittany Gunter Email

Many of us have been to an auction before, but probably not like the one held Saturday in Omaha. The items were from a Nebraska wildlife museum.

It sounded like a typical auction going on at Millard Social Hall in Omaha, but it definitely didn’t look like one. From rhino heads to a full-body zebra and leopard, these were items you can't often buy in Nebraska. So when people heard about the collection they couldn't wait to check it out.

"I'm a taxidermist and wanted to see what some of the stuff was,” said Michael Dinges. “There's some real nice trophies here and stuff, some real big stuff."

Some were looking for other people. "It's more for my husband." And some were there for themselves. "It would be a good conversation piece,” said Sam McCandless.

The collection was from the Wyobraska Wildlife Museum in Gering. The museum was selling these items to raise money for a new education center. Many of the animals are endangered species.

"A tremendous collection of all types of animals from all over the world,” said auction owner Mark Thomas, who added that a lot of time was taken to make sure everything was legal. There was one problem though. "The buyer for this is a very narrow market."

Especially the larger pieces, like a life-sized rhino. What to do with it? "We'd have to put an addition on the house." Something the McCandlesses can't afford right now, but like so many others they really enjoyed scoping it all out.

The auctioneers were just hoping they could get a good price for it all. Thomas said some of the items went for thousands of dollars. The highest bid items were the rhino heads, tigers and leopards.

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