Akeley, Carl Ethan

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Carl Ethan Akeley (āk´lē), 1864–1926, American naturalist, animal sculptor, and author, b. Orleans co., N.Y. He served (1887–95) at the Museum of Milwaukee; from 1895 to 1909 he was at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and from 1909 he was affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. His principal contribution was in the field of taxidermy; his system of mounting specimens by applying the skin to a finely contoured model is still used by museums. His animal sculptures and paintings may be seen in Akeley Hall in the Museum of Natural History and in the Field Museum of Natural History. He invented the cement gun for use in his own work, and the Akeley camera is widely used by naturalists. His influence led to the establishment in 1926 of the Albert (now Virunga) National Park, an animal sanctuary in Congo (Kinshasa). He wrote In Brightest Africa (1923).