AN EXCITING new exhibition is set to put Kendal Museum firmly on the global map.

The forward-thinking museum is the first to host The Great Dodo Exhibition, a collection of Dodos created by international award-winning bird taxidermist, Carl Church.

The show is also the first time that so many dodos (and related artefacts) have gathered in one place - adults, chicks and eggs - since the species became extinct in the late 17th Century.

On Thursday, July 4, from 4pm-9pm, Kendal Museum curator manager Carol Davies and the KM team host a champagne reception to open the exhibition.

Explained Carol: “We are raising funds for the refurbishment of the museum ground floor gallery so as well as the exhibition launch we are having an auction.”

Prizes include dinner bed and breakfast at the Samling, a string quartet to play for an evening at a private function, and a bronze dodo-headed walking stick inlaid with silver to an original dodo sketch by English artist Errol Fuller.

Globe trotting journalist Oliver Wates will be auctioneer and for the official launch KM will also have a bronze dodo sculpture collection by artist Nick Bibby on loan from Gallery Pangolin.

Additionally, there will be a real dodo bone on display courtesy of the Last Tuesday Society, London.

The dodo is a flightless bird native to the island of Mauritius, near the island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The closest relatives to the dodo bird are pigeons and doves, even though dodo birds were much larger in size, on average standing three-feet tall.

Carol said many 'famous' faces had lent their support to the exhibition, including Sir David Attenborough who has written to Carol.

His itinerary ruled out a trip to Kendal but he wrote, “your Dodo exhibition sounds fascinating and I would, I know, greatly enjoy visiting it.”

And the wife of the late Gerald Durrell, Lee Durrell - director of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey - said she could not make the launch but would love to see the dodo exhibition at some point.

Big names from the world of conservation dropping into the July 4 launch also includes Professor Carl Jones, scientific director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, who will open proceedings and hold a talk on the importance of the dodo in history.

Carol said it was a privilege to host the Great Dodo Exhibition at Kendal Museum, adding that the collection of dodos complements the museum’s internationally significant collection of endangered and extinct animals on permanent display in its World Wildlife Gallery.

“I am very excited and a little daunted at hosting an event for such prestigious people,” continued Carol. “This exhibition is completely unique. But I reckon we have something to celebrate here at Kendal Museum. A wonderful historic museum, significant worldwide collections of natural history, and I am sure I speak for all the curators before me in putting Kendal Museum onto the map to ensure its future for the town. And of course, I must thank Kendal College for giving us a new lease of life under their management.”

Kendal Museum was founded 1796, and has a stunning collection of taxidermy, assembled during the heyday of Victorian collecting and prepared by the finest taxidermists of the day.

A limited number of tickets are on sale for the prestigious launch from Kendal Museum, priced at £20. For more information telephone Kendal Museum on 01539-815597 or email

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am-5pm.