The haul consists of some 230 items gathered by Gregory Speck, who made the donation when he moved out of his Manhattan apartment-cum-personal museum.
Mounts that Speck, a socialite, donated to the museum range from bison to wolves to water fowl, according to VMNH spokesperson Zach Ryder.
Speck, who does not hunt, apparently bought many of the animal mounts, Ryder said, adding that he understands the collection also includes "some roadkills that [Speck] had stuffed."
"He is a fan of animals," Ryder said. His collection of animal mounts has been a way for Speck to show that love, he said, because "he couldn't have his own zoo."
Speck chose the museum to receive his collection (pictured in part at left) because of its expertise in caring for natural history specimens.
The vast collection will be displayed alongside both existing and new exhibits at the museum.