A Toronto museum's plans to dissect two blue-whale carcasses found in Newfoundland are under review due to mounting costs.
Working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum and local residents began transporting one beached whale that washed ashore near Trout River to the adjacent town of Woody Point last Thursday, according to The Telegram. There, the team began dissecting it.
The ROM initially offered to help remove up to two of the three blue-whale carcasses that washed up on the shore of Newfoundland's west coast for their museum collection. However, Mark Engstrom, the ROM's deputy director of collections and research, said there may not be enough money to handle both carcasses.
“My commitment when I came in was to do at least one whale, and my hope is to do both of them,” Engstrom told Canada-based newspaper the National Post. “We’re doing the Trout River whale and then I have to reassess my budget and see where I am in terms of whether or not I can actually do the Rocky Harbour whale."
“I’ve incurred a few expenses that I hadn’t expected, so it’s going to be tight to do both whales," he added.
Engstrom didn't reveal his exact budget, but noted that the expenses incurred by the museum would reach tens of thousands of dollars, according to the Post.
The town of Rocky Harbour was initially relieved that the ROM volunteered to take its beached whale, the Post reported. Rocky Harbour Mayor Walter Nicolle said the town does not have the budget to deal with it. Now, since Engstrom and his team may not be able to dissect a second whale, Rocky Harbour could find itself scrambling to find a solution to the rotting carcass, again.
Check out photos of the Trout River whale getting dissected, below. Warning: Some readers may find the photos to be graphic in nature.
Blue whale carcass now at private marina in Woody Point, where it will be stripped of its blubber and muscle tissue. pic.twitter.com/78RtNu94ty— Don Bradshaw (@DonBradshawNTV) May 8, 2014