The Horniman Museum’s beloved walrus is being taken off display until 2026

First, the good news: the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill is having its Natural History Gallery refurbished. That means new displays, with a focus on human impact on the environment, and big, important changes to the building and surrounding gardens. Investing in and redeveloping our museums is a great thing.

Now for the bad news: this big redevelopment means that the museum’s beloved, overstuffed and anatomically comical taxidermied walrus is about to be taken off public display.

The intensely dentured marine mammal’s unusual appearance is due to Victorian taxidermists having never seen a live walrus when they began work on it, so they just sort of had to guess. They guessed wrong, and the result has been a fan favourite ever since. The walrus will be put in storage when the gallery closes on January 8 until the space reopens in 2026. That means two whole walrusless years. Maybe fill the void by eating a lot more ice cream this year and becoming your very own over-stuffed walrus.

You’ve got until January 8 to see the walrus at the Horniman Museum. More details here.

Don’t worry, there are other museums to see in the meantime.

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