A focal point

MHS receives new bobcat mascot display

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ Monday morning, a new taxidermied bobcat display was installed in the Marshalltown High School’s welcome center area, by Marshall County Conservation Board Director Mike Stegmann, left, and Operations Supervisor/Park Ranger Jeremiah Manken.

Visitors to the Marshalltown High School main office are familiar with the mounted taxidermied bobcat on the back wall, but a new one was installed Monday morning in the school’s welcome center area, adjacent to the office.

The new taxidermied bobcat is displayed under glass, complete with a habitat simulation of maple leaves and ferns. Mike Stegmann, director of the Marshall County Conservation Board, and MCCB Operations Supervisor and Park Ranger Jeremiah Manken were on hand to set up the display.

Around six months ago, the school reached out to Stegmann about acquiring a newer taxidermied bobcat. He in turn worked with the DNR to obtain a bobcat carcass that could be used for the project. He got in touch with Jon Jones, owner of Premier Wildlife Artistry, a taxidermy service based in Farmington.

“Taxidermy in the last 30 years has really turned into an art,” Stegmann noted. “The case was then purchased through Marshall Glass, and the base was made by MCCB staff members Tyler Renze and Olivia Tym, from locally sourced wood.”

The finished project more than met MHS’s expectations.

“They did a fantastic job,” said Principal Jacque Wyant. “We wanted to make sure the display was done with the DNR, with respect to the environment and nature. The bobcat has the ‘fierce’ look we wanted as our school’s mascot — complete with visible teeth and claws.”

The bobcat, which is native to Iowa, has seen as increase in numbers in recent years, Stegmann said. The creatures can be found in the southern third of the state. They are carnivores, and males weigh around 25 pounds, while females weigh around 18 pounds, with a total length of head and body measuring 25-35 inches. Elusive animals, they are most active between dusk and dawn.

“Hopefully, the display will inspire people to do some natural history research,” Stegmann said.

The taxidermied bobcat on display in the main office will remain.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com