Brian Kingzett

A whale of a project nearing completion

Articulation project to gather whale bones for reassembly

For the past four years a 20-tonne grey whale has been decomposing in the ground on the Scia’new Nation territory. It came to rest there after band member Sharon Cooper felt the dead whale, which was found in East Sooke, was being disrespected by people who came to view the carcass.

“People carved their initials in it,” she said.

The idea was to articulate the whale and then reassemble the bones for display at the  University of Vancouver Island’s Deep Bay Field Station. Donations made the work possible.

On June 8, volunteers and students dug up the whale carcass and began moving, cleaning and cataloguing the bones.

“We are way ahead of schedule,” said biologist Brian Kingzett, from the field station. “We dug down and found out it decomposed way better than expected.”

Kingzett said the bones are in really good shape.

“Everybody is having a lot of fun too,” he said. “Everybody just dove in. It is such an enthusiastic volunteer group.”

He said many of the volunteers are those who donated to the bone project. One volunteer was a retired pediatric radiologist who was helping catalogue the vertebrae.

Sharon Cooper said it broke her heart to see the dead whale four years ago and she started the project to remove and honour the whale.

“He got his honour back. It’s overwhelming,” she said as she watched the bones being taken out of the ground. Cooper will take some of the rich soil from the site to put onto her blueberry bushes.

The whale will be put into a natural characteristic diving position and hang suspended above a staircase at the Deep Bay Field Station just outside of Bowser.

Just Posted

Years of ‘horrific, violent accidents’ at Thetis Lake prompt plea to public

View Royal fire chief asks for an end to alcohol consumption at busy park

‘Best in the country’: Formerly homeless man praises Victoria’s outreach services

Jay W. was living on the streets of downtown Victoria in 2018

City of Victoria plans workshop to determine fate of Sir John A. Macdonald statue

Conversations will happen as part of a reconciliation dialogue series in May 2020

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Hatley Gardens at Royal Roads, now free to public

1,500 plants recorded in garden, including 1,000-year-old Douglas Fir

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

EDITORIAL: Trees at the heart of Sooke

Two largely unrelated stories surfaced this week that might lead one to… Continue reading

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read