Advanced Taxidermy


Humpback Whale Created by Local Company

A life-size model of a humpback whale created by a Caledon company was sure to catch people's attention after being transported on an open flatbed trailer to Boston last Monday. The project was done by Advanced Taxidermy and Wildlife Design of Caledon after a request was made by a Boston company.

The whale will be put on display in a fish museum. Shawn Galea, owner of Advanced Taxidermy and Wildlife Design, explained they've been doing fishery creations for 23 years, including five years based in Caledon. They've done smaller whales chasing schools of salmon and they've also created some dinosaurs. He added the humpback whale is the single largest piece they've done.

"We were up for the challenge," he said. The model is a female humpback whale measuring 52 feet long, 37 feet wide including the fins and 10 and a half feet high. The average size of a real whale is about 43 feet long. The project took three weeks to complete with 10 people, including Galea, working on it. The inside of the whale is a steel structure weighing about 1,600 pounds. Fifty sheets of plywood were used for the center and side sections. About 2,000 pounds of expanding foam was then put on. The workers hand carved the body shape and fins out of the foam. After this about 1,000 pounds of plastic was sprayed on. Galea figured they used roughly 45 gallons of paint. They gave the whale a black base, adding some charcoal grey colours. They used flesh-tone skin colours to achieve depth. There's also some turquoise and white mixed in. The workers also glued on more than 500 barnacles which are parasites that grow on the whale. Galea said it took them about half a day to load the whale on to the open flatbed trailer and another two days to transport it to Boston.

Alan Liczyk
Staff Reporter, Caledon Citizen

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