28 June 2017


About a year ago Megan found an evening bat in the museum we work at. The little creature appeared to have died of natural causes and she made the right decision in putting the bat aside for me to get later. The moment she told me about it I started researching a natural way to mummify specimens. Finally, after some hardcore searching, I came across this amazing site called Wolftea.

To my surprise, it was pretty easy. All it entailed was borax, pickling salt and some knowledge (and maybe a strong stomach). Being the documenter that I am, I wanted to share the information here, for my records. And who knows, maybe it will help some of you out there who are wanting to do the same thing! Please keep in mind that this works with smaller specimens and the actual mummification time could take longer for larger ones.


  • Borax Detergent Booster
  • Morton Pickling Salt
  • Tupperware container
  • Rosemary sprigs
Make a mixture of borax and salt, using a ration of one to one. Add aromatic herbs if wanted.

Take salt/borax mixture and pour a layer to the bottom of the container, about half an inch. Place the specimen inside.

Pour in the rest of the salt/borax mixture until they are completely submerged.

It is extremely important that the container you use is able to breath - don't put an air tight lid on it. I placed some loose clingwrap over the top.

Leave to dry in a well ventilated space for a few weeks. For wings and smaller items, it takes 3-4 weeks. Small bird heads take up to 5 weeks.

Exchange the mixture around the 2nd week to keep it fresh – however, it isn’t fully necessary.

If you’re salting anything for longer than 3 weeks, you'll need to exchange the salt/borax mixture. This is so NO odor sets in. For humid areas: it could take a little longer.

Once the specimens are dry (they will be firm, with no moisture) you can brush off any salt/borax with an old toothbrush.

If you notice ANY odor, allow it to air dry in a well ventilated space for a few days.

Then soak it in a dry bath of aromatic herbs (cedar, clove, flower petals, mint… etc). You can also use smoke to help with odor, all you do is allow any smoke or fumes to further dry/absorb into your specimen by burning cedar, incense or other good smelling things nearby.

Tips: If you're removing organs and you've made an incision, be sure to rub borax or salt solution under as much of the skin as you can.

The goal is to wait until ALL the moisture is gone and item is no longer flexible. The longer it’s cured, the better. For odors, mix in rosemary sprigs.

Luna, My Little Evening Bat

As you can see, this natural mummification process did an excellent job at preserving her. The fur is still soft and pretty and if you look close enough in the first photo you can see her little fangs. This is something that I am very proud of and thoroughly impressed with how it turned out. Especially for my first time.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave me a message below. I will do my best to give you an answer.

Original source: Wolftea


  1. Well, this is information I will never use, but I did find it interesting.

  2. Hi there, im currently in the process of doing my rats. You mentioned that the fur kept, but i like the fur less natural mummies ive found i have a bat and a squirrel, do you know why they have lost the hair in natural mummy process and kept the hair the way you have done it?

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for reaching out...

      The reason the salt/borax mixture doesn't remove the fur is because it's a more gentle way of preserving the animal and fur. The salt naturally draws out all of the moisture, which results in the finished specimen that is dry.

      Which process do you use? I'm curious in knowing.

      I hope this helps to answer your question!

  3. Where did you keep your bat while she was drying? I'm concerned about odor, but I'm not actually sure how much a little bat will smell while mummifying. I have a back porch that's enclosed but not ventilated in the slightest and is adjacent to the kitchen (*gag*). I also considered enclosing his mummification tub in a cat carrier on our covered front porch which has direct sun (lots of heat) and lots of ventilation, but I imagine bugs would get in easily and the smell will waft into the living room through the window unit AC. Halp, please. :)

    1. Hi! Sorry for the late reply.

      While the bat was drying, I kept her in a covered tupperware-type container - I kept it in the laundry room where it doesn't get too hot. I honestly didn't smell anything while she was drying in there. Direct sun would definitely make it worse.

      I hope you have fun with yours. Please let me know how it goes!

    2. Im at the 4 week mark with my bat and i have had no odor whats so ever

    3. I'm so glad to hear that this has worked for you!

  4. Im using your method to preseve a bat that was killed by a ceiling fan id live to send you pictures. I preserved him in full wing extension and hes GORGEOUS. I just reburied him for the last half of preservation. I cant wait until he's fully mummified.... also we named him Bruce the bat

    1. That is incredible. I'd love to see a photo of him. Can you email me at Looking forward to seeing them.

  5. When you say rub mixture under skin what do you mean? Are you cutting the animal open and gutting it? Or do you leave it in tact.

    1. It would depend on how big the item is. For things like squirrel paws and tails, or bird legs and wings, no need. He may just mean to rub it into the fur kinda so if can get closer to the skin. For full bodies, you gut it and remove the brains. Then put some borax and salt in the empty tummy to speed up the process.

    2. I leave the animal intact. Renegade is correct, to rub into the fur so it gets closer to the skin.

      Thanks Renegade. I appreciate your input. :)

  6. When you opened the container did it have a bad smell?

  7. Is it possible to substitute pickling salt for kosher salt, or other kinds of salt?