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Borovoye Nature Museum

Some 3km on from the Goluboy Zaliv, another barrier signals the end of the national nature park and the arrival of the village of Borovoye. Taking the main road through this, you reach, on the far side of the village, the Borovoye Nature Museum. Located in a wooden building by the side of the lake on the right-hand side of the road, this provides a good, basic introduction to the ecology of the national park. The displays start with a room devoted to the birds of the forest and steppe. In a tableau of an eagle devouring a rabbit, the taxidermist has somewhat theatrically daubed red paint across the eagle's beak. Upstairs, the tour continues with a room devoted to waterfowl, with a stuffed pelican eating a wooden fish. A room devoted to the wealth of the forests has a large relief map of the park, and cases showcasing the forest insects, mosses, mushrooms and cones. Back on the ground floor, the next room focuses on four-footed animals, with deer, bear, boar and saiga, and a couple of particularly vicious-looking stuffed polecats, devouring a bird. The last are kept inside a glass case, evidently for added safety. The next room looks at nature protection, with a display devoted to some of the endangered species found in the park. The last room looks at minerals, with samples on display and photographs of interesting rock formations.

During the summer months, the museum may also house a temporary Kunstkamera (separate admission). Brought up from Almaty to catch the summer tourist market, this rather ghoulish collection of 'rarities and marvels' combines deformed stuffed animals (a double-headed kitten and the like) with pickled displays showing the disastrous effects of smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse on various human organs. All rather unpleasant.


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