Mangroves Cell to display Blue Whale's skeleton

Updated: Jun 21, 2018, 09:38 IST | Suyash Karangutkar

It had washed ashore dead at Uran; its skeleton was transported to the Mangrove Cell Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre at Airoli

Mangroves Cell to display Blue Whale's skeleton
Part of the whale skeleton loaded onto a trailer

The Mangroves Cell of the Forest Department has decided to preserve and display the skeleton of a Blue Whale that washed ashore dead in Kegaon village in Navi Mumbai's Uran.

The cell transported its skeletal remains to Airoli from Uran on Monday. In the three hours journey, the remains were moved in a 40-feet trailer, with three cars escorting it - two at the back and one at the front - to ensure a smooth ride, and prevent rash drivers from hampering the ride. The skeleton of the marine mammal will be kept on display at Airoli's Mangrove Cell Coastal and Marine Biodiversity Centre.

The giant carcass had washed ashore on Thursday morning. "We got a team of experts from Alibaug who removed the flesh and skin by Sunday. No preservatives were used on the skeleton. It was just washed by the sea water. However, we had to use phenyl to kill the smell," said Makarand Ghodke, Assistant Conservator of Forest (Mangroves Cell).

According to officials, 13 poles were attached to the skeleton, and eight people lifted each pole. "They lifted the poles and moved the skeleton slowly onto the trailer," said Ghodke.

While the Mangroves Cell staff is excited to display the skeleton at their centre, Ghodke said it would take at least six months for procedures to finish. "The skeleton will require chemical treatment and arrangement. The cartilage that will decompose will have to be discarded, before putting the remains on display. Besides that the paper work will take time," he said. "The whale died a natural death. Thankfully, there was no plastic in it," he added.

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