On Dec 4, 2015, southern resident J32 (Rhapsody) was found on a beach near Comox, BC. She was pregnant with a full-term foetus and initial observations indicate she may have died of infection. The death of J32 is a huge loss to the struggling SRKW population and especially tragic to lose this first-born calf as well. We collected the remains of her skeleton and that of her calf on behalf of the Royal BC Museum and with huge backing from the local community. These skeletons will be held at the Royal BC Museum and will be available for future research and education.
This fall we were asked by the Beaty Museum to come back and have a close look at the massive blue whale skeleton we had prepared, articulated and installed five years ago (see our blue whale page for more about that project.) Along with Jesse, our handiest friend around who also shares no fear of heights, we had the honour of being back in close contact with big blue for a week. Aside from a thin layer of dust that we brushed and vacuumed off her bones, we found relatively little wear to touch up. There were a few hairline cracks, which we believe resulted from heating and cooling in the all-glass atrium. All in all, we were extremely pleased with how this amazing specimen has aged. Many other shared our excitement to have another close look at the skeleton, check out this article by Brian Hutchinson.