Woman reunited with taxidermy rat 8 months after losing it at SLC airport

May 4, 2022, 7:01 AM | Updated: 11:29 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A traveler has tracked down a special souvenir at the Salt Lake City International Airport’s lost and found after seeing a KSL TV story.

The taxidermy rat was one of the oddest items the staff had come across, but they bonded with their new so-called office mascot, not knowing the owner would surface eight months later.

For nearly a year, the rat, named Stuart, became a fixture at the airport’s lost and found.

“It was fun. He just sat right here, right in the trees,” said airport lost and found supervisor Brett Christensen. “We started getting hats for him. He’s got a cowboy hat, and a black top hat.”

Laptops, clothing and taxidermy among items at SLC airport lost and found

No one claimed Stuart until our report aired last week.

Carrie Poulsen couldn’t believe it when she heard the news.

“My husband called and he said you’re not going to believe it,” she said. “You know that rat you’ve been mourning?”

Last August, Poulsen flew back to Salt Lake from New York, where she had taken a taxidermy class, but left the rat behind at the gate.

“I was certain that it got in the car with me,” Poulsen said.

She watched the story on Sunday and filed a claim that night on the airport’s website. The next morning, KSL TV’s Tamara Vaifanua met her at the office for the sweet reunion.

“He looks fantastic — thank you! This is like a miracle. (A) wonderful little miracle,” said Poulsen.

She had a good laugh about it.

“Last couple years have been kind of tough, and so this is just like a solid win for the travel industry, for taxidermists everywhere,” Poulsen said.

She told the staff she’s got a fantastic idea for a gift that will make them feel better. While she wouldn’t reveal what it is, we’ve got a feeling they may have a new lost and found mascot soon.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Woman reunited with taxidermy rat 8 months after losing it at SLC airport