People who choose to devote their lives to manicuring and preserving creepy animal corpses are fascinating. Photographer Mike McGregor, who grew up surrounded by stuffed animalia and sport-hunting, explores the relationship between taxidermists and their mounts in his photo series Preserveas highlighted by Wired.

While his subjects (all shot in their northeastern U.S. businesses) seem like a pretty sundry group, they all exude a certain intimate, tender protectiveness over their stuffed, glass-eyed babies.