Wildlife

Photos: A library of furs, mounts and skulls for checkout

Need to borrow a polar bear fur? Or a walrus skull complete with tusks? Or how about a beluga whale vertebrae or piece of baleen?

All you need is a library card and a trip to the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.

The library -- better known as ARLIS -- is home to the furs, mounts and skulls collection. It's where hundreds of animal specimens from wolverine furs to stuffed puffins are available for checkout by the general public.

The collection is housed in a staff-only section of the library, but search the catalog for realia -- the library classification for real, 3D objects -- and any object can be yours. For two weeks at a time, as long as you have an ARLIS, UAA or Anchorage library card.

According to Celia Rozen, ARLIS collection development coordinator and Alaska Department of Fish and Game librarian, the most popular items include bear and wolf furs, both of which are often used in Boy Scout promotion ceremonies. The snowy owl mounts are also popular, often needed for Harry Potter events.

Read more: An Alaska library where you can borrow a polar bear fur or musk ox skull

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