My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Cordova once again~sunshine, snow and Eyak the killer whale skelton!

on March 22, 2012

March 18-20,2012

Returned to Cordova on a BEAUTIFUL day with the candidates for the superintendency.  We were so fortunate for the sun filled day on Sunday, then a more true look at Cordova as we woke up to snow on Monday, and lastly, another beautiful day on Tuesday, I did not even need my coat!

The most interesting thing I can share with you this blog is about our  visit to the Ilanka Cultural Center where I had a chance to see the huge skeleton of Eyak, one of the three preserved Killer Whale skeletons in the world. Prince William Sound Science Center (which was built with $ form the Valdez oil spill) and others  in Corodova, including youth, did an amazingly job to preserve this whale, Eyak.

I found some history on Eyak on line:

On July 11, 2000, an orca whale beached and then died in Hartney Bay, five miles southwest of Cordova. The whale was later identified as Eyak, a member of the transient AT1 group, also referred to as the Prince William Sound transients.

In the days preceding his death, Eyak and/or another orca were spotted by various witnesses in the area, displaying peculiar behavior. It was first reported on the 9th, that a whale was beached on Mummy Island, but this whale was able to get back into the water that evening. On the morning of the 11th, Eyak was seen swimming very slowly near Orca Cannery, three miles north of Cordova. Later that morning, another observer saw Eyak feeding near Hartney Bay just before he beached himself.
When news of the stranded whale reached the Science Center and the Forest Service, everyone went out there to help him through the tide cycle. Wet blankets were draped over his back throughout the afternoon. Despite everyone’s efforts, he passed away around 4:30 that day. Blubber samples were collected for researchers at the North Gulf Oceanic Society, for analysis of contaminant levels and genetic research. A year later, an article in the Anchorage Daily News, revealed probable causes of Eyak’s death.
It was quickly decided that the skeleton of the whale should be salvaged and re-articulated for educational purposes. In a collaborative effort of the PWSSC, the Native Village of Eyak, and the USDA Forest Service, this project has been underway ever since. There has been a great effort by all involved to collect and clean the bones. The Eyak’s skeleton is now on display in the Native Village of Eyak’s arts center.

for more information read:


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2 responses to “Cordova once again~sunshine, snow and Eyak the killer whale skelton!

  1. Savanah Schapman says:

    Hi aunt timi we are all here at my house celebrating aunt heather and aunt hiedi’s birthdays! we are havin a good time and i wish you two could be here:) love you guys and cant wait for june!!! you were soo close to those seals that is toooo cool:)


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