Stuffed walrus visits Margate

The Horniman Museum and Gardens waved off its walrus today, on his first trip for more than 100 years. The walrus is on his way to the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

Massive stuffed walrus is in "tip-top" condition

We wanted him to be in tip-top condition to meet his new audiences – so he’s been cleaned and x-rayed to find out exactly what he’s made of, and packed carefully in his crate for the journey. He’s missing his walrus-wrinkles because at the time he was mounted very few people had seen a live walrus. This appearance is not untypical of large scale taxidermy at the time – and is of course part of his charm.

– Jo Hatton, Keeper of Natural History at the Horniman

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Walrus weighing a tonne is winched into place

The walrus will spend the summer at the Turner Contemporary Credit: Alex Braun/Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens waved off its walrus today, on his first trip for more than 100 years. The walrus – famously overstuffed by his Victorian taxidermist and weighing around a ton – is on his way to the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

He will spend the summer taking pride of place in a new exhibition, Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing, 25 May – 15 September 2013.

The walrus – probably a young male – was bought by Museum founder Frederick Horniman in the early 1890’s and has moved no more than 25 feet since the Horniman opened in 1901.