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Giraffe Skeleton in Original Traveling Crate

Wooden crate, labelled ‘Birchington, Kent’ holding the skeleton of a giraffe. This giraffe was collected during Percy Powell-Cotton’s expedition to the Congo 1904-1907.


Bringing his collections back to Kent was as important as collecting them in the first place. This object answers one of our visitors’ most asked questions!

Powell-Cotton Museum

Powell-Cotton Museum,
Quex House and Gardens,
Quex Park,


This crate is typical of how specimens collected across Africa were brought back to Percy’s museum at Quex Park. Making sure specimens were well packed was just as important as collecting them. A well packed specimen would survive the long journey back to Birchington to be turned into a taxidermy specimen for display, or to be used by scientists and researchers. Percy used whatever materials were available to package specimens – the Museum has some animal specimens in crates that once held sugar, marmite and even champagne!

Curriculum Links:

  • KS1: Local History, Significant Individuals, Animals, including Humans
  • KS2: Local History, Animals, including Humans, Evolution and Inheritance
  • KS3: Local History, Britain 1901- Present Day, Skeletal and Muscular System, Ecosystems, Inheritance, Human and Physical Geography
  • KS4: Ecosystems, Inheritance

Museum Learning Programmes


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