A BIZARRE menagerie of stuffed animals is to be sold off in Dorchester following the closure of a museum.

The Victorian collection of taxidermy includes a tiger in mid-leap, a lion, a komodo dragon, a giant tortoise, a crocodile, a zebra and a baboon.

It comes from the Brading Experience museum on the Isle of Wight, which has closed due to a fall in visitor numbers.

Some of the 250 items – such as the tiger – are expected to fetch thousands of pounds while others could go for just a few pounds.

Staff from Duke’s carried the items into the Grove auction house, where they will go under the hammer next week.

Auctioneer Matthew Denney said: “In what is an endlessly varied line of work we see no end of different items coming through our auction room. These items are quite unlike anything we have handled before. The quality and variety to be seen in the collection is extraordinary and we are delighted to be involved with the sale.”

The creature collection belonged to a Victorian gentleman and was first opened to the public in 1965.

There are some unusual waxworks and curiosities in the collection.

One rarity is a stuffed pangolin – a scaly anteater native to tropical regions of Asia and Africa.

Some of the animals are arranged in striking poses and others in more traditional glass cases.

Mr Denney added: “There are many collectors for the unusual and the strange and we look forward to the sale with much excitement.”

The collection will be on view on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday with the auction taking place on Tuesday, April 13, beginning at 10.30am.

Call 01305 265080 for more details.