The most famous celebrity at the Royal BC Museum is celebrating his 40th birthday.
Woolly the Mammoth, who the museum says is the most photographed mammoth replica in the world, was first constructed and displayed in 1979, after a year of research and modelling were complete.
Woolly is based on the skeleton of a mammoth discovered in an Illinois peat bog in 1931. In 1978, a Royal BC Museum taxidermist and curator travelled his for research and measurements. Craftsmen then used a new design technique, projecting stereoscopic photos of a smaller working model onto paper, and enlarging it six times to create a contoured map for the full-size mammoth model.
Woolly’s frame was then constructed out of foam, metal, wood and glue before it was sent to the museum to be “dressed” with muskox hair. Woolly’s tusks are made out of fibreglass casts from a pair borrowed from the Vancouver Museum.
Woolly was first open to the public in December 1979; 40 years later more than 10 million visitors have met him.
On Jan. 26 the Royal BC Museum will celebrate the day with a family event from noon to 4 p.m.. Staff will sing Woolly Happy Birthday at 2 p.m., and there will be music, crafts, an educational animation station, and a chance to win one of four stuffed (mini) Woolies.
The Royal BC Museum is located at 675 Belleville St. in downtown Victoria.