Portion of Museum Statement
(click here for full)
After an exhaustive but fruitless search for preserved, exhibit-quality animals, one of our board members learned that an area horse and mule trader had purchased a pair of mules that would fit our needs. According to the owner, the animals had reached the advanced ages of about 28 and 32, respectively, and were no longer sound or strong enough for normal use. Had the Museum not purchased these animals, the next option for the trader would have been to sell them to be transported into Mexico for slaughter for dog food.
LUBBOCK, Texas -- A West Texas museum has purchased two old mules and euthanized them for a farm display.
The American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock says in a statement that the two mules were purchased from a local horse and mule trader after a long search for already preserved animals came up empty.
One mule was 28 years old. The other was 32.
The mules were euthanized and will eventually be put on display.
Museum officials say the mules would have otherwise been transported to Mexico and slaughtered.
Responding to criticism over the move, the museum said in the statement released Monday that the real animals will allow visitors to get a more accurate picture of how mules are used in the field.