Ray Bandar is one of those hardcore old school bone collectors that I idolize. He learned how to process dead animals he found (starting in his 20s) through trial and error… similar to my own background. Turning them into beautiful finished specimens to display in his collection. Sharing similar stories of “that time when he stunk up the kitchen” and “the bones that were cleaned wrong” and “I’m sitting on his neck, cutting away, trying to sever the skull from the torso, I turn around, and standing on the beach is three cops.” Haha! Plus passionately learning about different animal species as part of the whole process. I can respect that, I’m living that life too. I’d love to meet Ray in person and swap stories.
He has spent 60 years building up his collection of 7,000 skulls stacked floor to ceiling, including those of sea lions, cheetahs, jaguars, horses, zebras and other animals in his basement (pictured). Note that he has a scientific collection permit which legally allows him to collect and process many animal species that most of us can not. I especially envy him for that. Many of his skulls are now on view at the California Academy of Sciences, in San Francisco! Which is so absolutely fantastic as they will also be studied by scientists for decades to come. I wish I was closer so I could go myself. More - http://www.npr.org/2014/06/10/318891562/a-bone-collectors-basement-of-animal-skulls-sees-the-light More - http://www.calacademy.org/academy/exhibits/skulls/