Blue Whale Skeleton Restoration

In 2010, the Hind Foundation granted $25,000 to Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to help restore the 72-foot long Blue Whale Skeleton to ensure its legacy lives on as an exhibit and educational tool for years to come. The Blue Whale skeleton first went on display in 1983, but exposure to sun and rain caused the deterioration of many of the bones to the point where they needed to be repaired or replaced. During 2010 the Museum’s Vertebrate Zoology Department and a contracted exhibit company, Academy Studios, worked meticulously to restore and prepare the skeleton. The restored skeleton, which weighs nearly 7,700 pounds, is 98% real bones and is a composite of four specimens. Today the Museum’s Blue Whale exhibit is arguably the best and most anatomically correct display of its kind in the world. Visitors can once again enjoy walking under the skeleton and into the rib cage to experience the sheer size of these gentle giants.

Noteworthy Outcomes

•    Timely Completion The Hind Foundation grant motivated the fundraising committee and gave the project validity, which encouraged other supporters to contribute to the project. The additional motivation and support provided the Museum with the means to meet their fundraising goals and complete the project on time.

“Thank you to the entire Hind family for helping the Museum provide so much joy to our visitors, while also providing them with valuable science learning opportunities. The Museum is deeply appreciative of your support of our Blue Whale Restoration Project, as well as for the blue whale themed exhibits which have helped to connect our beloved Whale with our visitors. We are grateful for your insight and friendship.” ~Carrie LeBlanc, Development Officer Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History