Photo: The Straits Times

The latest attraction at the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum is the skeleton of a whale found floating in Singapore waters off Jurong.

Visitors can get close to the skeleton and see it "eye to eye" – it is displayed in a diving pose with its skull just 1m off the floor. This is unlike most museum whale skeletons, which are usually hung horizontally near the ceiling.


Photo: The Straits Times

The skeleton of the adult female sperm whale takes pride of place in the mammals section of the museum at the National University of Singapore. The carcass of the 10.6m-long whale was discovered floating off Jurong Island on July 10 last year – the first time the marine mammal has been spotted in Singapore waters.

Museum scientists say it is likely to have died after being hit by a ship, as its dorsal hindquarters had a large wound. Broken backbones were also found below the injury.

It was nicknamed Jubi Lee by museum staff, as it was found during the nation's Golden Jubilee year.


Photo: The Straits Times

Besides marvelling at the size of Jubi Lee, visitors can learn more about its biology, the threats it faced, and how it was discovered. Plastic cups and bags found in its gut, for instance, will be on display.


Event details

WHERE: Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS

ADMISSION: $16 for adult Singapore residents, and $9 for children.



(First published in The Straits Times.)