Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wet weather leaves taxidermist looking further afield to source kangaroo scrotums

Large kangaroo scrotums are in short supply for a souvenir-making taxidermist in Australia after continuing rain drove kangaroos beyond the range of shooters. John Kreuger of Townsville, Queensland, has been earning a small fortune making and selling bottle openers made from waste meat from macropods.

Mr Kreuger, who introduced stuffed cane toad souvenirs to the world in the 1980s, started making the tanned and stuffed testicle products about two years ago. Using offal from a kangaroo meat processing plant in Brisbane, the 71-year-old has been able to pump out about 500 hollowed scrota an hour at his Herveys Range workshop, using a special "de-nutter" machine.

The unique bottle-openers have been selling like hotcakes through distributors in souvenir stores in Australia's major metropolitan cities, for about $25 each. However, he said extreme weather across the country, including Queensland's floods, had delivered a swift kick to his business's nether regions, forcing him to source meat from interstate.

"The kangaroos are pretty smart animals," he said. "They know days in advance when it's going to rain, so they head back to the desert country. It's not quite panic stations yet," he added. "I've got something like 40,000 scrota stockpiled in freezers in Townsville. I've got enough work to keep me going for another 12 months."

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