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Make Money Selling "Unique" Animals To Ripley's
When Paul Brown discovered a stillborn, deformed pig in January, at first he was going to take it to the compost pile. Instead, the pig will be seen by thousands of people in one or more of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums located around the world.
  When Brown realized the pig had two rear ends and eight legs, he showed it to his wife, Andrea, and she emailed photos of it to their son. He suggested contacting Ripley’s.
  Andrea went online, clicked on “Need to Contact Us” and filled out a form. “In less than an hour I got a response,” she recalls, and Ripley’s wanted to know their asking price.
  With suggestions from $20 to $500, she decided on $250, and was surprised when it was accepted right away. She was told to put the pig in the freezer and wait for packaging to mail it. The check arrived before the packaging, which came shortly after along with several cold packs.
  “We try to only spend $200 for carcasses,” says Ed Meyer, vice president of Ripley’s exhibits and archives. “It’s a standard offer.”
  Ripley’s is taking a risk on the condition and has the further expense of taxidermy costs by a New York company willing to work with challenging items.
  “This is the fourth eight-legged pig we’ve bought,” Meyer says. With 32 museums (including a new one opening in Baltimore June 1), Ripley’s continuously adds items to its inventory – including animal oddities.
  The Browns’ pig will likely be with the taxidermist for about 6 mos., then shipped to a warehouse. In May, 2013 it will be available for museums to select for that year’s displays.
  “It could be on display at the museum in Branson or as far away as Australia,” Meyer says.
  People who have animals or items they think may be suitable for Ripley’s can contact them through their website, he adds. It’s important to preserve items by freezing. While Ripley’s purchases some taxidermy items, they prefer animals in their natural state, because they know they are authentic.
  “Ripley’s paid for everything. They were wonderful to work with,” Brown says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Paul Brown, 28746 O Ave., New Providence, Iowa 50206 (ph 641 497-5717); or Ripley’s, 7576 Kingspointe Pkwy, Suite 188, Orlando, Fla. 32819 (ph 407 345-8010; www.ripleys.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4