Niyazi Savcı, a 93-year-old man in the northwestern province of Kırklareli, has been continuing his life-long taxidermy art for 61 years.
Known as “uncle birdman” in the province, Savcı has applied taxidermy to nearly a 1,000 dead birds and wild animals by stuffing them with a special process in order to keep them intact.
Born in Romania in 1928 and having immigrated to Turkey with his family in 1935, Savcı started working after his military service.
Savcı, who became curious about his father’s profession, taxidermy, at the age of 32, continued this art for 61 years without interruption.
He donated some of the animals he mounted to the Kırklareli Museum and started to exhibit some of them by turning a room of his house into a museum.
Noting that he is one of the five taxidermists in Turkey and the only taxidermist in the Thrace region, Savcı stressed that art is not easy.
Stating that every animal’s character should be reflected in the art of taxidermy, the man explained that the secret to his job is patience.
“I dry the areas of the animals where we cannot work with an injector and medicine. I fill it with stuffing materials, cotton and sawdust. It takes at least a week to fill an animal,” Savcı said, adding that he has stuffed 60 species of animals to date.
Emphasizing that he carries out the care of the mounted animals he donated to the Kırklareli Museum every week, Savcı stated that he is continuing his search for a hedgehog planned to be exhibited in the museum.
Noting that many chemicals used in agricultural control harm the wildlife, Savcı stated that he has not found animals for taxidermy in recent years.
“Agricultural control has harmed many animals. We can no longer see them, we can only find them in books,” he added.
Hurriyet Daily News