Next came the difficult part; removing the rancid smelling oil that had seeped into the bones throughout the years. This began in November 2009 and took several months to complete. The bones were moved into specially designed tanks and stored in a large space that was generously donated by Ellice Recycle Ltd. The team first began the degreasing process by spraying the bones with a degreasing enzyme that would take the molecules located within the oil and break them down. Next they were placed inside 2,500.00 gallon liquid containers. Over time the team still found that this was not enough so they raised the temperature of the liquid.
When the bones were checked on once again the team discovered that raising the temperature did indeed remove the oil, however; it also caused the bones to become brittle and sponge like. The team did not let this tragic set back hold them down for long. They hired a specialist that made replica bones that looked the same as the previous ones and the remaining bones were put through a vapour degreasing process that worked perfectly.
From January to April 2010 the final touches began. The bones were removed from their long baths, inspected, repaired and roughly put together. During this time open houses, educational, and school open hours were generously put on to give others the opportunity to glimpse at this wonderful experience.
On April 7, 2010 the whale officially made its way to her new home. NYX Dimensions scanned digital copies of each bone for further research. The blue whale was placed together one piece at a time working from the skull and tail bone, all the way to the tip of the tail.
On May 22, 2010 PEI’s very own blue whale had her official debut. People came from all around to see the dedication and hard work from everyone involved in all its glory. This particular blue whale is the fourth largest of twenty-one displayed all across the world. It is also the largest whale on display in Canada.
Mark Millar Productions created an hour long show of this amazing experience shortly after. “Raising Big Blue” aired on the Discovery Channel June 5, 2011, with thousands of viewers all around the world watching!