I found this fine fellow today when searching for the image of a monkey, wearing a monocle and cravat, and holding a copy of Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species'. I'm sure I saw him once! Any leads greatly appreciated.
But, the finest collection of taxidermy that I've had the 'pleasure' to see, in the flesh, was when dining at the London restaurant, Les Trois Garcons...a gloriously camp and baroque experience, though such surroundings may dampen the appetites of those of a more delicate constitution...
Owney wandered into Albany post office in New York in 1888 and was found sleeping on some mailbags. Soon, he was riding on the trains that ferried mail across state and country. In 1895 he traveled around the world, sailing by steamship to Asia and Europe.
Owney was considered good luck - no train he travelled on ever crashed and, following each successful trip a lucky charm was attached to his collar. Eventually, the postmaster had a jacket made to take the weight of so many jingling medals.
Owney came to a sad end. In old age, he grew a little bad tempered and, following an unfortunate incident, when a newspaper reporter appears to have been bitten, Owney was shot. But the mail workers raised funds to have their beloved mascot preserved and, today, Owney is on display in the Smithsonian Institute - looking somewhat less of a threat, a little less shaggy, and a lot less perky than he ever did in life.