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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 04:00 GMT
Thames whale skeleton on display
Thames whale
The whale's battle for survival was followed around the world
The skeleton of the whale which died after becoming stranded in the River Thames a year ago will go on public display this week.

The exhibition - staged by the Guardian and Observer newspapers - will tell the story of the whale's journey and the attempt to rescue it.

It will include the whale skeleton and a preserved fin - both on loan from London's Natural History Museum.

Tens of thousands of people gathered to see the distressed animal last year.

'Extraordinary information'

The week-long exhibition, which starts on Monday in the Guardian and Observer visitor centre in London, will see the skeleton displayed in a case.

It will also feature photography and a short film by documentary maker Paul Burgess.

Ian Katz, the Guardian's executive editor, said: "The bones contain an extraordinary amount of information about the kind of diet the whale would have been on, the habitat it would have been living in, the kind of groups it would have been living in."

The whale, a female northern bottle-nose, was the first of the species to be found in the River Thames since records began in 1913.

Experts said it may have been trying to head west to the Atlantic Ocean where it could feed on deep sea squid, but made a wrong turning, ending up in the heart of London.


The battle to rescue the whale was followed around the world and tens of thousands of people visited the banks of the River Thames to see the animal.

Rescue attempts failed and the whale died on 21 January.

The post-mortem, carried out by vets from the Zoological Society of London, established the cause of death as dehydration, cardiovascular failure, muscle damage and kidney failure.

The Natural History Museum acquired the bones of the whale for the its scientific research collection.

After the exhibition the bones will be returned to the museum.

The whale stranded in the River Thames

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