MSUToday
Published: April 29, 2010

MSU Museumís 10.5-foot-tall brown bear on the move

Contact(s): Lora Helou MSU Museum office: (517) 432-3357 helou@msu.edu

One of the Michigan State University Museum's most well-known specimens was relocated from the lobby to the second floor in the Hall of Animal Diversity on April 22.

“The great brown bear is one of our iconic specimens,” said Gary Morgan, MSU Museum director. “We are moving it to a spot in the natural science galleries where visitors will be able to walk right around it and get a better perspective from all directions. Moving the bear also frees up space in the museum's foyer, and we will be using this as a flexible display area with changing small exhibits, and as a meeting place for guests and functions."

The 10.5-foot-tall brown bear has been greeting visitors in the lobby since the mid-1980s, shortly after it became part of the museum's natural science collections.

The brown bear is one of the MSU Museum's largest and most impressive specimens and the move required delicate handling. Museum staff, along with assistance from MSU Physical Plant, first dismantled the case; and then wrapped the bear, and hand-carried it in a sling up two flights of stairs to its new home, and reassembled the casework.

The bear specimen was collected in Aniakchak Bay on the Alaskan Peninsula, a region that is home to some of the largest brown bears in the world. In life, this bear stood 10.5 feet and weighed 1,400 pounds. It was collected by Jens Touborg in 1958 and donated to the MSU Museum in 1983.

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One of the Michigan State University Museum's most well known specimens was relocated from the lobby to the second floor in the Hall of Animal Diversity on April 22.

One of the Michigan State University Museum's most well known specimens was relocated from the lobby to the second floor in the Hall of Animal Diversity on April 22.

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