Gorilla Bobby

Karl Kästner and Carola Radke (MfN)1935

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Bobby the Gorilla arrived at Berlin Zoo in 1928, aged two. He died of appendicitis in 1935. The taxidermy of the animal was created by Berlin taxidermists Karl Kaestner (1895 - 1983) and Gerhard Schröder (1896 - 1945) in the same year. To this day, it has remained one of the masterpieces of taxidermy, and more than 80 years after his death, Bobby continues to fascinate visitors. This is not only due to the artistic talent of the taxidermists, but also to the use of a new technique they developed. It involved partially replenishing sparsely haired body parts with paraffin wax. This allowed preservation of fine structures in face and hands and prevented shrinking during the drying process (water contained in the cells is substituted by solid substances such as paraffin wax or polyethylene glycol).

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Gorilla Bobby
  • Creator: Karl Kästner, Carola Radke (MfN)
  • Date Created: 1935
  • Location: Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin
  • Type: Taxidermy, Dermoplastic
  • Rights: © Museum für Naturkunde. All rights reserved.
  • Medium: Dermoplastic