Largest sperm whale skeleton in Taiwan on show at NCKU’s new marine education center | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The largest sperm whale skeleton in Taiwan went on display at National Cheng Kung University’s Annan Campus (NCKU) as the school inaugurated a marine conservation institute on Sunday (Feb. 20) to coincide with World Whale Day.

Sponsored by the Ocean Conservation Administration, the Nanying Marine Conservation Education Center is the culmination of years of commitment to protecting ocean life by the university’s Marine Biology and Cetacean Research Center.

The center has conducted over 200 missions to rescue beached whales and dolphins over the past decade, with such operations involving more than 5,000 volunteers in 2021 alone. With the addition of the facility, the university now bears more responsibility in educating the public on the topic and promoting the country’s achievements in animal conservation, CNA quoted NCKU Chief Secretary Lu Pei-jung (呂佩融) as saying.

On display at the new center is the skeleton of a 56-foot sperm whale that hit headlines in 2004 when its carcass exploded on a street in Tainan on its way to a necropsy. The explosion, which was caused by a gas build-up, intrigued scientists both at home and abroad and would later inspire an investigative experiment by National Geographic.

The Annan Campus facility features both static and interactive exhibitions, including specimens of various kinds of whales and introductions to how rescue missions are carried out. Guided tours are available, allowing visitors to learn more about whale necropsies, according to NCKU.

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