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Veikko Salkio´s Natural History Collection

Birds and mammals

In the Veikko Salkio Natural History Collection each animal is placed in their own ecological niche as a part of nature. By studying them, one can make various observations about the animals in their natural habitat, diet and breeding. The collection consists of almost all Finnish mammals and about 230 different bird species. Many bird species have a female and male as well as a chick and an adult bird on display in the collection to distinguish their differences. Variations in colour, crossbreeds and deformations are shown as their own category. Studying the appearance, the sounds and singing of birds helps to identify them.

Deers and bovids

The vast collection of antlers and skulls of mammals belonging to the deer and bovid families were especially dear to Veikko Salkio. He was interested in deformities, defects and other anomalies. Deer and bovid belong to the family of even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla). The Deer (Cervidae) family includes over 40 different species and Kieppi has the antlers of 18 species. The moose or Eurasian elk (Europe) spread to Finland after the last ice age about 10 000 years ago. The Bovid (Bovidae) family includes close to 140 different species - Kieppi displays antlers of 28 different species. Bovids are for example domestic cattle, goats, antelopes and buffaloes.

Other skulls, bones and sternums

Kieppi has also a wide collection of sculls and bones from other mammals as well as the sternums from different birds. They tell the age, species, size and in some cases, the sex of the animal. Some specimen show signs of illnesses or injuries. The collection includes for example the sternum of a sea eagle that has been fractured due to a collision and a deformed and healthy spine of a mink.

Trapping Gear Collection

Veikko Salkio documented different fishing techniques used in the Arctic Ocean while in Pummanki, by drawing and taking pictures. Later he acquired a trapping gear collection, for example, old fishnet markers, weights and fish spears. The collection related to the hunting culture includes many cruel trapping gears that are forbidden today, such as foothold traps and fox boards.

Marine animals

Even though Kieppi features mostly Finnish animals, it is also possible to get a brief glimpse of the endless diversity of the deep-sea species. Most notable is probably the round and pointy oddball of the marine world, the porcupinefish.


Veikko Salkio’s fossil collection started to expand in the early 1980s due to his excursions to Svalbard and when Finnish-Canadian Ray Rinta started sending specimens from his travels to all the continents. The dinosaur egg from China is a favorite among visitors.

Finnish forest reindeer

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Updated 02/11/2016 | Send feedback | Print