UPDATE: During Coffee with the Councilors this morning (Starr and Barranco were in attendance) a taxidermist and someone representing West Sioux offered to take the collection at their expense. The councilors seemed open to the idea. I mentioned liability issues but Barranco felt a waiver could be written. I joked with the group that the Zoo should get a VPN and sell them on the black market, they could raise all kinds of money for butterflies and lions 🙂

I support letting them take the collection, but like most things with the city, it will get very messy, very fast.

Well you have to give them credit for using fancy word games;

During the coming weeks, the Sioux Falls City Council must approve the surplus and disposition of the Delbridge collection, according to the release. The city and zoo will also work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to safely disposition the mounts in the collection. It’s expected to take several months.

In other words they are taking them to the city dump and DISPOSING them! They are not getting REARRANGED! Now remember, if there is any asbestos in them, don’t drag it across town in some leaf bags and a late model Chevy like some other ‘LLCs’ did. But no worries if you get caught, you can get out of the fine with a couple of TIFs and Parking Ramps to boot . . . I mean a settlement check.

“This difficult decision was reached after extensive discussion, research, testing and consultations about best practices to manage aged taxidermy with experts at other reputable museums,” the release read.

I am willing to take their word for it that they have no other option but to dispose of them, but I would be curious what kind of research they did trying to find an institution that would take them and restore them? I told a city councilor they need to request the consultation reports.

14 Thoughts on “UPDATE: The City of Sioux Falls & the Zoo want to move the dead animal museum to the dump

  1. Very Stable Genius on August 18, 2023 at 1:30 pm said:

    The Delbridge Collection was first housed and displayed at the once West Sioux Hardware store on Madison Avenue here in town. It wasn’t often, but whenever my Dad wanted to go there to find some part that the other hardware stores in town most likely wouldn’t have (We didn’t live near there.), he’d go there and I would always make sure I went with him. They even had a guest book there for customers to sign. It was the only hardware store/museum that I ever knew, and I remember it being somewhat dark in there and mystifying, and even as a child I wondered what the blank this place really was or was trying to be.

    Then, fast forward to 1979, a year after Mr. Delbridge’s death, the city held a bond issue election in the summer of ’79, I believe it was, to fund the current building that houses the collection at the Zoo. Well, it obviously passed. It was only my second vote as an eighteen year old (My first vote was in April of ’79 involving Mayor Knobe’s re-election bid), and I voted “Yes”, but my Dad voted “No” and complained to me that I had just voted to either directly or indirectly raise his property taxes overtime. Now some 44 years, we will have no collection, but an empty room. So, I guess I voted for, overtime, to raise my Dad’s taxes and all of ours for nothing. 🙁

    But, if you really think about it, this collection and the West Sioux Hardware store were the original vestiges of the eventual “Entertainment District” and “Sports Authority Area”, and of what we once called West Sioux. AND, overtime, the collection lasted much longer than Badlands Pawn and whatever other hopes our civic leaders have had for that area of town in the recent decades; but now it is time to close the door on even some dead animals and the dark and eerie memories of once getting excited to go to a hardware store to look through the glass case of an Impala being attacked by a big cat. Perhaps, that show case, especially, was the first sign of the eventual apocalyptic and eclectic reality which Badlands later warned us about and tried to portray, and eventually failed in it’s mission, and which climate change and AI are now dressing us for like the newest of taxidermy candidates. 🙁

    ( and Woodstock adds: “Yeah, the best way to describe the old West Sioux Hardware store is to imagine the Field Museum in Chicago having a gift shop that offered plumbing and electrical supplies”…. 🙂 )

  2. D@ily Spin on August 18, 2023 at 6:42 pm said:

    They have value and (likely) are not toxic. Realistically, the collection is an embarrassment. These species are endangered. Why not admit it? Trying to hide it is worse. This is a good subject for national news. This story could slow the mass migration of tree hugger Californians into Sleugh Falls.

  3. Rumor has it that most of the stuffed animals tested positive for asenic.

  4. i find it hard to believe that suddenly these things are toxic and need to be deposed of. somebody wants them for their collection, and the city is going to sneak them out the back door.

  5. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on August 19, 2023 at 10:29 am said:

    Maybe a rich collector plans to house them at the Bunker House in Taupeville.

  6. CORRECTION: Mr. Brockhouse’s death and not Mr. Delbridge’s death.

  7. On second thought on August 19, 2023 at 11:16 am said:

    There’s something mystifying about West Sioux. Over the years, it has attracted the bizarreness of West Sioux Hardware store, and then Badlands Pawn, and planes and former air bases have been attracted to this vicinity as well. Perhaps, the perfect backdrop for a sequel to ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. It’s where fat Elvis held one of his last performances, and where Billy Ray warned us about an ‘Achy Breaky Heart’, and didn’t Nugent crack the cement ceiling there at the Arena back in the day, and didn’t even Reagan graced that area in ’86, and Dubya, too, I mean twice? Oh, and Spiro showed-up there in 1970. ( 🙁 ) AND, Bill Clinton’s last personal campaign stop ever, before we knew about Monica and cigars, was at the old Arena there in the midnight twilight of a November night in ’96. Not to mention that the county fair is nearby there, too, which attracts its fair share of odd carnies and games, and then there are the circuses at the Arena over the years with their clowns, small cars, and big shoes. It’s definitely an intriguing and odd area with even quarries nearby, where digging for something is either a pass time for profit, or digging to get out of there, perhaps…. No wonder the bad siding still stands and the country music is the main attraction in that part of Sioux Falls. Because they are both most fitting for an odd (…and apocalyptic?) place like that…..


  8. Justin Enger on August 19, 2023 at 1:05 pm said:

    The animals indeed are toxic as arsenic was used up until the 1980’s to preserve taxidermy hides and feathers. Most museums that have taxidermy specimens are in the constant state of dealing with containing, treating or disposing of contaminated specimens. I spoke with a friend who is a conservator at the Field Museum about the collection and asked if it was likely a museum like the Field would take the collection? He said “no, as most museums have more than they can deal with on their own.”. Obviously it would be sad to see these pieces destroyed as they have educational value and sadly will one day be the only way to see some of these animals “in the flesh” so to speak. If a private individual or individuals want to save and preserve them on their dime and keep them available for educational use, then what is the harm in trying to make that work. I mean it’s no bunker mural but…..it’s pretty an important natural history collection.

  9. Further Fear & Loathing on August 19, 2023 at 3:10 pm said:

    Oh, I very much like the idea of returning the collection to West Sioux. But is Rosie’s ready to handle the new influx of tourism that it will bring to that part of town?

    Better yet, couldn’t we just display them each year, in the summertime, downtown in place of the Sculpture Walk displays? I could imagine (‘Imagine’?) the Beatles song, ‘I am the Walrus’, as the opening jingle celebrating the display of these fine dead animals downtown next summer. I mean, talk about a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, or what? Plus, who would dare vandalize a big cat attacking an Impala?…. Beware!….. Don’t piss them off even more:


  10. "Woodstock" on August 19, 2023 at 3:16 pm said:

    “Say, maybe this song by ‘The Animals’ would be more appropriate for this whole controversy and any potential jingle promoting downtown, and some outdoor displays, huh?”….. :


  11. Justin, thank you for the input. As a collector of the weird, I am with you, if someone is willing to take on the risk, have at it.

  12. D@ily Spin on August 20, 2023 at 3:33 pm said:

    Use them for 3D Artificial Intelligence sequel to JUMANJI.

  13. Mike Lee Zitterich on August 21, 2023 at 7:30 pm said:

    as a proud West Sioux Falls resident, I vote to keep the animals, and give them back to the Community of West Sioux, let alone the Brockhouse Family. They are to be preserved forever. – Mike Z

  14. Fearing the Fuhrer & More on August 22, 2023 at 12:52 pm said:

    West Sioux is where it’s at, man!

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