Museum may know Wednesday if both blue whales can be processed

Gary Kean
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Work on the first blue whale carcass in western Newfoundland may wrap up today, but it will likely not be until Wednesday before the Royal Ontario Museum finds out if it can afford to do the second one.

Work began late last week to strip the flesh off the blue whale, which had been transported to Woody Point from where it was beached in Trout River.

Officials from the museum, and a contingent of local residents hired to help, have been busy paring the massive animal down to its bones. The skeleton has been further dissected and will be transported back to Ontario for further processing with the hope of eventually reassembling it for display in several years.

The plan was to do the same thing with a second blue whale that washed ashore in Rocky Harbour. According to a story by The Canadian Press, and published in Monday’s edition of the Western Star, the museum is not sure its budget can accommodate the costs of processing both whales.

Mark Engstrom, deputy director of collections and research for the museum, was not available for an interview Monday but did tell The Western Star that the work on the whale in Woody Point may conclude today.

He still hopes to get to work on the second whale, but is still not sure if the money is there.

“Doing the second whale is contingent on funding, which we should have an answer on by Wednesday,” Engstrom wrote in the email.

Organizations: Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian Press

Geographic location: Woody Point, Newfoundland, Western Star Ontario Rocky Harbour

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