Press release: Valentine's remains will end up in the museum and in Indaver's rotary kiln

In 1989, on February 12, sperm whale Valentine washed ashore on the beach at Sint-André in Oostduinkerke. The municipality of Koksijde buried him on the domain of the Ten Bogaerde abbey farm. At that time, it was already the intention to dig up the 17-meter sperm whale later to exhibit it. After the pilot excavations in 2013, concrete plans were made to dig up Valentine from Saint André.

It is expected that after a few days of work, the remains of Valentine's skeleton can be transported to the Morphology Department of the Veterinary Medicine Department of UGent.
A few years later, Valentine is expected back in the municipality of Koksijde, the skeleton will be exhibited in the NAVIGO National Fisheries Museum.

Waste processing by Indaver

The waste management company Indaver will process the meat that the UGent team removes from the carcass in its installations in Antwerp. Industrial and hazardous waste that is not eligible for recycling is thermally processed in three rotary kilns. Indaver specializes in the destruction of waste with components that may not end up in society again. The meat of Valentine cannot be processed in a regular way due to the pollution with stones and sand. At Indaver, Valentine's meat can be burned in a safe and sustainable way at a high temperature, so that all harmful components are destroyed.

Some facts:

  • Valentijn is 17 meters long and weighed an estimated 50,000 kg when he washed up.
  • Scientific name: Physeter macrocephalus
  • In 1989 he attracted 300,000 spectators
  • Valentijn has spent more than 11,000 days underground
  • 700 m³ of soil will be relocated, the well will be 25 m long and 5 m deep
  • 5 whale flange knives and 3 spade knives will be used to process the carcass
  • A team of 2 to 5 people will put the skeleton back together

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