A West Texas museum has purchased two old mules and euthanized them for a farm display.
The American Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock says in a statement that the two mules were purchased from a local horse and mule trader after a long search for already preserved animals came up empty.
One mule was 28 years old. The other was 32.
The mules were euthanized and will eventually be put on display.
Museum officials say the mules would have otherwise been transported to Mexico and slaughtered.
Responding to criticism over the move, the museum said in the statement released Monday that the real animals will allow visitors to get a more accurate picture of how mules are used in the field.