From the King-Cobra to to the Gila Monster, Leeuwarden’s natural history museum will host all sorts this year
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported in the Leeuwarder Courant, the Natuurmuseum Fryslân will in 2020 be home to spiders, snakes, and other venomous creatures as the new exhibition GIF gets going. The creatures being exhibited at the Museum travelled to Leeuwarden from Spain by truck in late 2019: before bedding in to their new terrariums over the christmas holidays.
There will be around 30 types of animal on display, as part of a much wider exhibition around poison and venom in nature. In order to show the animals to the public, the museum had to apply for a special zoo license, says Curator Tom van Slooten: “you need one if you want to show wild animals to the public for more than seven days in a year”.
After the application, a delegation came to inspect the museum and the application was granted. To go with the application, the museum has put together a number of protocols and health and safety plans, including having various antidotes available, and planning for every sort of eventuality.
A specialist veterinarian from Spain accompanied the animals to the Netherlands, and will look after them daily. The beasts will live in specially-made double-walled glass containers, which will stand in the large central covered courtyard in the museum. Half-way through the year new animals and different species will be brought to the museum.
If everything goes to plan, the temporary zoo will be combined with a breeding programme, so that visitors can also get a view into the life-cycle of animals. All of the animals have come via the Spanish Grupo Atrox, which is affiliated to the Madrid zoo.
GIF was previously exhibited at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, and video material from the previous exhibition will be shown at the Natuurmuseum Fryslân. Visitors may even recognise TV-biologist Freek Vonk in the presentations.
For more information, check out the Fries Natuurmuseum’s website.