Delbridge Museum of Natural History closing

Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 1:36 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Delbridge Museum of Natural History in Sioux Falls has closed to the public.

The zoo reports that prior to the 1980s, strong chemicals were used in the taxidermy process to preserve hides, and as the specimens in the Delbridge Collection — harvested from the 1940s to 1970s — continue to age, there is a greater chance of chemical exposure. Because of this, the City of Sioux Falls and the Great Plains Zoo decided to take down the collection.

In a process that will take several months, the City and zoo will work closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to safely disposition the mounts in the collection.

The museum has been home to a comprehensive collection of taxidermy, procured and displayed over many decades in the mid-1900s by Sioux Falls businessman Henry Brockhouse.

According to the zoo, the decision was reached after much discussion, research, testing, and consultations about best practices with experts at other museums.

“As a city asset, the Sioux Falls City Council must approve the surplus and disposition of the Delbridge collection, which is expected sometime in the coming weeks,” the zoo reports.