The older bull whale had died after becoming beached on the southwestern coast of Taiwan, and it had taken more than 13 hours, three large cranes, and 50 workers to shift the beached sperm whale onto the back of a truck.
While the whale was being moved, the website of the newspaper Taiwan News, eTaiwanNews.com, reported that “a large crowd of more than 600 local Yunlin residents and curiosity seekers, along with vendors selling snack food and hot drinks, braved the cold temperature and chilly wind to watch workmen try to haul away the dead marine leviathan”. Professor Wang Chien-ping had ordered the whale be moved to the Sutsao Wild Life Reservation Area after he had been refused permission to perform a post-mortem at the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan. The whale was being transported on the back of a truck through the center of Tainan from the university laboratory to the preserve when the explosion occurred. Although the explosion was spectacular, it did not stop researchers from performing a post-mortem on the animal.
The explosion was reported to have splattered blood and whale entrails over surrounding shop-fronts, bystanders, and cars. BBC News Online interviewed an unnamed Taiwanese local who said, “What a stinking mess. This blood and other stuff that blew out on the road is disgusting, and the smell is really awful.”Over the course of about one year, Professor Wang completed a bone display from the remains of the whale’s rotting dead body. The assembled specimen and some preserved organ and tissues have been on display in the Tai Jiang Cetacean