On June 25th, 2014, Glacier Bay National Park celebrated the Grand Opening of "SNOW," the largest humpback whale skeleton exhibit in the United States. Her massive 3,729 pound skeleton is housed in a beautifully constructed outdoor pavilion just a short walk from the Glacier Bay Lodge. The return of Snow to her permanent home in Bartlett Cove was as much a homecoming as a celebration. The event welcomed many Huna Tlingit families back to their homeland to help dedicate the exhibit and conduct a spirit ceremony that included giving Snow a Tlingit name, "Tsalxaan Tayee Yaay, which translates as "Whale beneath Mt. Fairweather."
The Grand Opening was the culmination of 13 years of hard work by Park staff and volunteers, followed by the expert attention of a professional whale articulation contractor, Dan DenDanto, owner of Whales and Nails LLC. Dan and his crew completed the final cleaning and preparation of bones in Seal Cove, Maine, transporting Snow's skeleton 3,000 miles each way for this work.
Displaying this spectacular beautiful skeleton is one way to turn Snow's tragedy into an educational opportunity. We hope that this skeleton will inspire Glacier Bay visitors to learn more about whales and their challenges for decades to come.
To learn more about Snow's story, go to: Whale 68 Articulation Project