Exotic taxidermy animal collection up for auction in Dunedin

Over 100 exotic animals are to go under the hammer this weekend in Dunedin.

They're all part of a special taxidermy auction featuring everything from lions and baboons to a moose, but some of the controversial trophies are turning heads.

This Dunedin auction house has become a silent menagerie featuring exotic animals from around the world.

"There's pukus and kudus and just a whole lot of different types of animals that I've never heard of before," Proctor Auctions Manager, Ronnie Proctor, told Newshub.

It's for a special auction, bringing together three different Otago collections of taxidermied animals.

The entire cast of the Lion King are among the trophies - all collected by big game hunters.

"We've had hundreds and hundreds of families come through to see these animals. To be able to touch the animals, looks at the animals - I mean, they're not going to be able to see it anywhere else," Mr Proctor said.

Researching the various animals has been an education for Proctor a Mongolian Ibex his favourite visitor.

"He just reminds me of what you'd see on the billy goat gruff books, with the trolls and everything. But yeah he's amazing," Mr Proctor said.

Many of the trophies were collected in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, when hunting these animals as specimens for museums was a profession.

There is some backlash, especially around some controversial elephant foot stools, and a table made from an elephant ear and zebra legs.

Hunting lodges restaurants, hotels, and museums all keen to bag a few trophies.

The unusual auctions attracted interest from around New Zealand and overseas with sale prices expected to range from a few hundred dollars into the tens of thousands.

The timeless Dunedin zoo goes under the hammer at Proctor Auctions this Sunday.