Kids 'Meet the Mammals' at Burke Museum
Hundreds of children and their parents visited the Burke Museum on Saturday to view mammal skulls and animal pelts. There were skulls from harbor seals and sea otters, buffalo and wildebeest, and even bones from ice-age mammals.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Danika Leinbach was sweltering in her lion costume, complete with a realistic head that earned her a ribbon at the Burke Museum's costume contest.
"She loves getting dressed up in it," said Danika's mother, Erin Leinbach, from Langley, B.C. "She's worn it since Halloween."
The 17-month-old loves animals, so when the family learned about the Burke Museum's "Meet the Mammals" day, complete with a costume contest, they decided to stop by.
"We read about it, so we threw the costume in," said Erin Leinbach, who has an annual pass to the Woodland Park Zoo and visits the zoo and Seattle every couple of months.
Hundreds of children and their parents visited the museum Saturday to view mammal skulls and animal pelts. There were skulls from harbor seals and sea otters, buffalo and wildebeest, and even bones from ice-age mammals: woolly mammoth (acquired from Alaska) and mastodons, which roamed Washington state in prehistoric times.
Hunter Bosaiya, 7, from Sumner, said he'd seen live hippos at the Woodland Park Zoo and was excited to see a hippopotamus skull.
One of the most popular exhibits was a stuffed African lion, nicknamed Isaac. It was shot in Botswana in 1983 by Renee Mills, of Redmond, and she had it mounted and displayed in her home.
Mills, who ran a travel agency, died last spring, and a friend bought the lion and donated it to the Burke. But the museum doesn't have a way to display it, said collections manager Jeff Bradley, so he sent out an email, and a museum in Melbourne, Australia, said it wanted the lion. Mill's family agreed to the move, and Isaac the lion will be shipped to Australia in a few weeks.
Robert Bohus was at the museum with his daughter Genevieve, 4.
"It's a great way to introduce them to science and nature," he said, adding that the Burke is a hidden treasure. "Not many people know about it."
This is the sixth year the Burke has sponsored its mammal event. Its most popular event, on dinosaurs, is scheduled for March 3.
Also on display Saturday were reminders of Jake and Juanita, a regal king and queen of the savanna who lived at the Woodland Park Zoo. Their skulls, donated to the Burke after they died, are stored side-by-side in a box, said Bradley, the collections manager.
"They're emeritus members of the Woodland Park Zoo," he said. "Even in death, they're inspiring people. It gives them a second life."
Aidan Stier, 6, said he liked learning about the different teeth of the mammals. "Some are short, some are long," he said.
Aidan said he used to like dinosaurs, but now likes living animals. His favorite? Ocelots.
Would he like a pet ocelot? Aidan shook his head. "No. They're endangered."
Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or email@example.com
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