Meet Whale #68, also known as "Snow." When first photographed by pioneer whale researcher, Charles Jurasz in 1975, the white spots on her tail flukes helped give her that name. She was an amazing marine mammal that frequented the waters of Glacier Bay and Southeast Alaska for over 26 years until her untimely death in 2001. On July 16, 2001, park researchers found her floating "belly up" near the mouth of Glacier Bay. Six days later, a necropsy revealed she had received a severe blow to the right side of her head, indicating a fatal collision with a large vessel, later determined to be a cruise ship. Fortunately, she probably died instantly.
Through her untimely death, the scientific community has learned much. And soon, park visitors and local communities will also have the opportunity to share in her story and be a part of giving her a voice again.
Over the next year, Glacier Bay will partner with professionals to do the final cleaning, repair, fabrication and articulation of Snow's bones. Once on display, Snow will be one of eighteen humpbacks on display in the world - the second largest at 45 ft. long!
We invite you to come along with us on the journey through weekly blog posts and a web page dedicated to Snow's story.
Check out our Whale 68 Project Webpage