New Zealand school skeleton turns out to be real

AP News
Posted: Aug 11, 2011 3:24 AM
New Zealand school skeleton turns out to be real

An anatomy lesson nearly got a little too authentic in New Zealand when an elementary school teacher found that the skeleton she was about to show her class wasn't plastic. It was a real human skeleton.

The local Northern Advocate newspaper says school principal Bastienne Kruger stopped the lesson, called in the police and handed over the boxed skeleton. Officials are scratching their heads over what to do next.

Experts from the Historic Places Trust believe the bones were professionally preserved a century ago or more when skeleton trading was common.

The bones appear to be from a small man who lived in India or China. Nobody knows how long the skeleton has been at the Totara North elementary school, which opened in 1852 on New Zealand's North Island.