The dismantling process of the Museum’s Blue Whale skeleton took five days (March 8–12, 2010) beginning with the flippers. Then each individual rib was detached and the vertebral column (a.k.a. the backbone) was removed in sections. On the last day, the last 12 bones were disassembled, and then 4,169 pounds of Blue Whale bones migrated north to Academy Studios in Novato, CA to undergo a much-needed, thorough restoration process.
Only the skull bones (about 3,542 pounds) remained at the Museum, as the Museum utilized a new set of skull bones that were harvested from the first of the 2007 Blue Whale strandings. All of the Blue Whale bones returned to the Museum on November 10, 2010 for reinstallation. The Museum raised $500,000 from generous friends of the Museum to fund the the Blue Whale Restoration Project.