Subject: Sperm Whale:Moving Moby's body poses probl (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 13:38:28 -0500 (EST)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu,  3 Apr 97 12:48:00 GMT 
Subject: Moving Moby's body poses probl

Moving Moby's body poses problems

  By Jackie Brown, Louisa Buller and Lorna Hill, PA News
   The complex operation to move Moby the whale to his final resting place was
continuing tonight after attempts were hampered by its sheer size.
   Council officials in charge of the operation were determined to bury the
mammal in a landfill site tonight and had set up floodlights to carry on the
work in the dark.
   By 7pm the animal was still lying on a road on the banks of the River Forth,
where it beached after more than a week of efforts to save it.
   And its massive frame was just yards from the front door of a private house.
   The operation began at high tide this morning when a tug's mooring rope
dragged the mammal's enormous frame off the mud flats near Airth in central
   He was then floated along the estuary to the jetty at South Alloa, where
police divers tied ropes around his tail and he was winched up the shallow
   During the afternoon he was gradually draggedup from the jetty to a narrow
   But the crucial stage of lifting him with two cranes onto a low trailer to
taken to a landfill site near Bowness had still not been tested.
   Garry Edwards, emergency planning officer with Falkirk council, said they
would be carrying on for as long as possible tonight .
   "The plan is to take it to the landfill site tonight, everything is in place
to take it there," he said.
   "We have to clear it away from the house. We are having problems with the
last few yards. Its jaw is open and that is adding to the difficulties of
   "It is the sheer scale of the whale and it's the first time the contractors
have dealt with anything like this."
   But he said the plan was still to move the whale in one piece, rather than
it up. Once Moby is taken to the landfill site, a post mortem examination will
try to determine the cause of death.
   It is planned that its skeleton will be removed for research and display.
   Moby captured the nation's attention when he became trapped in shallow
nearly two weeks ago.
   Spectators turned out to watch a flotilla of boats try to coax the mammal
of the Forth.
   All today sightseers were arriving at South Alloa to catch a last glimpse of
the 50 foot sperm whale.