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Shelby Township

Nature Center seeks moose mount for collection

April 2, 2013

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The Burgess Shadbush Nature Center, located in River Bends Park, is looking to add a mounted moose head to its collection of native animals.

By Brad D. Bates

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Burgess Shadbush Nature Center is looking for a few good antlers.

As the center seeks to round out its collection of mounts from all four of Michigan’s native deer species, center representatives are asking anyone with a spare moose head to donate or lend the specimen to the nature center.

“It makes sense for us to have an animal that was the biggest animal in recent time to roam Michigan, and they can have big, impressive antlers,” township naturalist Dan Farmer said.

Farmer said the moose would hold a place of significance next to specimens representing elk, caribou and white tail deer and other native animals, alive and stuffed, at the center.

“We’ve got a caribou head. We’ve got quite a few white tail deer and a nice elk here, but we don’t have a moose. And moose used to be right here,” Farmer said.

“They’re constantly updating the displays, and now they’re looking for a moose head,” Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood said.

“You go one week, and (if) you go two weeks later, you’ll see completely different animals and programs.”

Along with the native mounts and numerous live critters, the nature center also boasts a representation of an American bald eagle, which is unique in its complete lack of any materials from an actual bald eagle.

The eagle is one of only four like it that was made and was loaned to the nature center by Robert L. Easterbrook Sr.

“When you’ve got a piece that was presented to George H.W. Bush, and you have access to it, you’ve really got to appreciate it,” Farmer said of the exclusivity of the eagle. “It’s hard to tell it’s not a real bald eagle.”

And Youngblood said additions like the eagle are examples of why he never knows what to expect when visiting the nature center.

“The Burgess Shadbush Nature Center is a nice little gem we have in Shelby Township,” Youngblood said. “And (River Bends Park coordinator) Kerry Croiser and Dan Farmer and (nature center coordinator) Jo Burgess, and Lauren James, who takes care of our animals, and a number of volunteers make the nature center.”

The nature center is located in River Bends Park at 4101 River Bends Drive. Anyone interested in donating a moose head should call (586) 323-2478.

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