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Walk on Hobart’s wild side

Taxidermy exhibit features animals from around world

HOBART — On the second floor of the Stanley Building in downtown Hobart is an unusual display of the furry and the ferocious.

More than 40 animals of all shapes and sizes, preserved through taxidermy, make up the Lattimore Collection, a new exhibit at the Stanley Building in downtown Hobart.

The animals were donated to the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum by John “Vic” Lattimore Jr., president and chairman of Lattimore Properties, Inc. Lattimore is also a board member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Lattimore has been good friends with Gen. Franks for years, having served together on various boards.

“He and I actually hunted together a couple times in Alaska and British Columbia,” Lattimore said last month via phone while on a hunting trip in New York. “The hunt in Alaska, Gen. Franks brought home a nice brown bear.”

A lifetime member of Safari Club International and an avid hunter, Lattimore grew up hunting in Texas and said his passion for big game hunting has taken him all over the world. About 30 years ago, he started preserving some of the animals he hunted through taxidermy, saying having the animals brings back memories of each hunt.

Several years ago, when his collection grew to such a large size he no longer had room for it, Lattimore donated a portion of his collection to the museum in Hobart.

“I didn’t want to just put them anywhere,” Lattimore said. “I go back to Hobart two or three times a year to see them.”

Lattimore attended the exhibit’s grand opening earlier this year with his wife and said he enjoyed meeting the people who put the new exhibit together, including Cheyenne Budvarson, program manager at the museum.

Budvarson led the charge on the exhibit after the animals had been in the Stanley Building for several years.

“We decided the best way to set it up was to organize it by continent,” she said.

The exhibit features animals from North America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Budvarson researched the animals and wrote bios to accompany each one. The museum’s PR firm, Vann PR in Oklahoma City, designed graphics to enhance bios for everything from bears to foxes to an alligator.

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