Freeze-dry Taxidermy & Pet Preservation

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What is Freeze-dry Taxidermy & Pet Preservation?

Freeze-drying is a method of preservation which eliminates the decaying process inherent in the living tissues of plants and animals. Through a combination of very low temperature and vacuum application, all moisture is removed, leaving the tissues otherwise unaltered. Upon completion of the process, the trohpy animal or pet is returned to room temperature, and remains indefinitely in the same condition thereafter, subject to the same care and treatment as other valued possessions.

How does the freeze-dry process work?

The animal is carefully prepared and posed, supported by a custom made framework. Next it is frozen into that pose.  It is then placed into a sealed vacuum chamber at extremely low temperature. Over time, frozen moisture is slowly converted into a gaseous state, and then extracted. The larger the subject, the greater the amount of moisture to be extracted. Typically, a small cat or dog will take 8 to 12 weeks. Larger animals will take a longer period of time, perhaps as much as 4 to 5 months in the case of a very large dog. However, all animals are unique, and sometimes take a bit more or less time than expected.

At Down Under Taxidermy we know how important your trophy animal or pet is to you. We strive to maintain your animal as completely and exactly as possible. During preparation, we keep the entire body of the pet intact, doing as little alteration as possible and taking several additional steps in order to produce better results. Equipment used in the freeze-dry process is very costly to purchase, operate and maintain.

How will my trophy animal or pet look and last?

If you are having your pet preserved, we will ask you to send pictures of your animal and will also communicate with you to try to ensure it will be posed as you would like. We work to create a pose and appearance that will look as natural as possible. If the entire process is done correctly, using quality equipment and techniques, the results should be very life like looking, even at close viewing. For this reason, for your pet, we  highly recommend a sleeping or at least lying down posture, which looks the most natural in the absence of movement. However, we will work with you to accommodate any other pose or special considerations you would like.

Your animal will weigh much less than it did when it was alive, due to the removal of the water and other liquids which account for the majority of an animal’s weight. If not subjected to subsequent damage (dirt, spills, stains, weather, mistreatment, etc.) there should be no further change or deterioration. With a little care, your pet can be held, carried, transported, and even gently petted.

How do I prepare my pet for shipment to the Taxidermist?

After your animal passes away, immediately place it into a sealed plastic bag and then into a standard freezer. If you are preserving a pet, then Veterinarians and kennel or operators are usually happy to do this for you. Any heavy soiling or debris should be removed, but no washing, bathing or other preparation is necessary. We will attend to this for you. Your animal must remain frozen for overnight shipment to us, by Express Post or Express Courier. Normally, this is not difficult to arrange. We will discuss specific instructions with you regarding packing, or any other special considerations. Shipment should be made at the beginning of the week in order to avoid weekend delays.



Item Cost
Boar shoulder mount, closed mouth 650 – 850++
Boar shoulder mount, open mouth 850 – 950++
Goat & Ram shoulder mount $800
Small Rabbits & Ferret full mounts  400
Hare full mounts $550
Fawn full mounts, lying down $1,000
Rusa, Fallow, Chital, Lambs, Goat Kids, Piglets, Fawn full mounts, lying down $1,100
Newborn full mounts/ lying down $2,500
Calves, foals, other animals of similar size $2,500
Pet Preservation & other animals Price on Request


  • Special poses and/or circumstances may result in higher charges
  • 50% deposit is required with arrival of pet, balance is due before return shipment


++ depends on size of animal

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