National Poo Museum opens on the Isle of Wight

News piece I wrote for The Southern Daily Echo – 

Families are invited to get up close and personal with the smelly stuff at the attraction on the Isle of Wight.

The museum has had mixed reviews since it opened on Good Friday, with comments ranging from “disgusting” to “pootastic”.

Exhibits include meerkat, lion and baby human poo along with elk poo from Sweden.

Ancient fossilised dung from millions of years ago is also on display at the museum, which is part of the Isle of Wight Zoo.

The faeces, that will eventually go on tour around the UK, have been collected from around the world and zoos on the island.

With the help of artists from the creative group Ecclestone George, the Isle of Wight Zoo first came up with the idea for the museum back in late 2014.

The display aims to encourage people to appreciate poo more and break the taboo around human and animal waste.

Director Charlotte Corney, 39, who has worked at the zoo in Sandown since 1998, said: “The main ambition of the museum is to challenge people’s perceptions when thinking about poo, that it’s not just a dirty thing.

“The subject doesn’t need to be hidden just because it’s culturally hidden.

“Poo is relevant to all of us as animals produce a lot of poo.

“There are lots of way we need to be responsible about poo, like the indications of it not being healthy.

“We always look to do different things at the zoo and think about exhibitions that other zoo’s might overlook.”

You can find out more about the museum at isleofwightzoo.com

More than 15 examples of excrement are on show, with all exhibits freeze dried to remove their moisture then stored in resin spheres.

Visitors can interactively engage in the museum too, by finding out fun poo facts when lifting up toilet lids and lighting up the resin when a button is pressed.

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