Last updated: April 14, 2015
On August 26, 2005, a juvenile, female killer whale (11 ft. 8 in.) stranded and died on Young Island in lower Glacier Bay. When Park staff investigated, they found two pieces of fishing gear hanging out of her mouth. Using the Serac, an NPS park vessel, the whale was carefully towed to Bartlett Cove. A thorough necropsy revealed that a halibut circle hook embedded in the whale's esophagus was the ultimate cause of death.
Over the intervening years, park staff and volunteers cleaned and prepared the killer whale skeleton for articulation. This winter, well known Alaska Articulation Specialist, Lee Post, will be traveling to Glacier Bay to put the bones back together in a beautiful skeletal exhibit. According to Lee, "Orca whale skeletons are very rare in collections. There are only two orca in Alaska and only three others in this country." The whale will be installed in the Gustavus Public Library on February 25th, 2014.
Glacier Bay is excited to be working with several Partners on this project. they include: Lee Post, City of Gustavus, Gustavus Public Library, The Gustavus School, and Alaska Geographic. Follow along as we document this amazing community event.