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Apache Wildlife Museum

About the Collections

The Apache Wildlife Collection is the only one of its kind at an Elementary School in the United States.The program began in 1967 when Wayne Prentice, a former fourth grade teacher at Apache, began using some of his personal mounts as teaching aids in his classes.

The purpose of the Apache Mammal Collection is to provide life mounts of the more common North American mammals for study and observation by school students, Scout groups, and the general public. It is far better to have the real specimen for study than to have to rely on an artist's perception of what the animal looks like.

The Apache Mammal Collection was made possible by a $25,000 grant from the 1995 New Mexico Legislature. The Grant was sponsored by Senator Duncan Scott. The mammal specimens were donated by state agencies and individuals. The taxidermy work was done by selected individuals, chosen for the expertise in mounting particular species.

Special recognition goes to the Albuquerque Public Schools for construction of the display cases used to house the specimens.

Visiting the Museum

Guided tours of the Apache Wildlife Collection may be arranged by contacting the Apache Elementary School office.

Mr. Wayne Prentice
(1940 - 2017)

Mr. Wayne Prentice was the founder and curator of the Apache Wildlife Museum.

He found that the mounted specimens were helpful in class discussions on animal identification, banding and migration patterns, wildlife conservation, bird habits, the study of endangered species, ecology and art.

With encouragement from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Prentice sent a letter to every National Wildlife Refuge and State Game and Fish Departments in the United States requesting contributions of illegally killed or salvage specimens. Replies were fantastic! Refuges from Alaska to Florida and from Maine to California sent available specimens to Apache. The Apache PTA paid for shipping charges, and Mr. Prentice mounted the specimens for the collection.