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An African Guenon in St. Ottilien

Exuberance Rarely Does Well

The animal is positioned inconspicuously on a cornice at the back wall of the diorama, under the head of a sable antelope. However, the preparation is notable; the taxidermist gave the little monkey a humanlike posture as if it could tell something. And indeed it has some story to tell!

For long years this exhibit was part of the Biology Collection of the Rhabanus Maurus college until a colleague read the old slip of paper on the underside of the pedestal.

»This original piece out of Fr. Bartholomäus' collection was brought from Africa to St. Ottilien by a missionary. There the little animal lived for some time in the care of the brothers.

Alas, the urge to higher things let the guenon climb trees where the animal apparently enjoyed itself so much it would not descend any more. At once Fr. Plazidus Vogel got his rifle and shot it from the tree. Fr. Xaver dissected the corpse and did the taxydermy."

The persons mentioned above are: Fr. Bartholomäus Köppl (1891-1969; monk in St. Ottilien), Fr. Plazidus Vogel (1871-1943; monk in St. Ottilien, 1st Abbot of Münsterschwarzach 1914-37), Fr. Xaver Hasler (1882-1952; monk in St. Ottilien, from 1910 in Eastern Africa).

Site of exhibition: Diorama "Apes and Antelopes" in the Great Africa Hall