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Huge new exhibit coming to Virginia Museum of Natural History

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MARTISNVILLE (WSLS10) - The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville is opening a new exhibit thanks to the family of a Pennsylvania man.

The man recently died, so his family, who wants to remain anonymous, started calling museums to see if they would take his extensive collection of taxidermied animals.

After several museums declined, a family member who lives in Roanoke decided to call the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

"We try to never say 'no' right off to different opportunities," said Ryan Barber, the museum's deputy director. "We saw pictures from the family and our curators recognized the quality of the materials, so we felt like it was at least worth a look. From there, it was no question."

There are more than a dozen animals, including a lion, a leopard, and a 15-foot Nile Crocodile.

"It's a really great opportunity. We always look for opportunities to update our exhibits for visitors," Barber said. "So, with the quality of these specimens we're really able to transform our exhibits and our experiences for visitors."

Construction of the new exhibit is expected to begin in a few weeks and it's expected to open in August.


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