Devon

Giraffe moved by crane through Exeter museum roof

  • 20 August 2010
  • From the section Devon

A well-known giraffe exhibit has been lowered through the ceiling of a Devon museum by crane while being moved as part of a major redevelopment.

Gerald, who has been on show at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum for 90 years, was lifted from one side of the museum to the other.

Gerald was taken out of the same window he was first brought through in 1920.

But he had to be lowered through the ceiling at the other end of the site because no door was big enough for him.

Gerald was shot in Kenya by a big game hunter in 1901. After being skinned, dried and cured at the scene the skin was cut into pieces to transport to London where it was mounted by taxidermists.

Since being brought to the museum in Exeter in 1920 the giraffe has become one of its most-loved exhibits.

Alison Hopper-Bishop from the museum said: "He's quite delicate, the skin is quite fragile, the legs are joined separately and the body's in several pieces.

"You can see stitching lines in the neck so all those areas are potentially points of great strain when the thing is being moved around."

Gerald is due to go on display in the new part of the museum next year.

Alan Caig, from Exeter City Council said: "I've spoken to 90-year-olds who were here in their youth who used to throw their school caps and catch them on his head.

"People have really fond memories of him, so he typifies what the museum's about."

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