Before you comment: gloves are not necessary because these animals are clean, carry no transmittable diseases, are fresh and not rotting therefore bacterial infection is not a severe threat, and gloves impair our ability to secure a safe hold on tissues during prep. 

We took a field trip to a local zoo yesterday to pick up a few zebra heads and help clear out some space in their freezers. The bisected skull Anna is holding in the top photo is that of a forest buffalo; the other side of its skull can be seen on the prep table in lower photos. 

The zebra died on Thursday. The zoo didn’t have a freezer large enough for the entire animal even after it was sectioned into a dozen buckets, so we took the soft head and prepped it yesterday in the lab.  It had absolutely no odor to it, its lips were still soft, and its eye had yet to gloss over. I felt very lucky to be offered the chance to help Angelina (center, middle photograph) prepare the skull on her last day in Anna’s lab.