A 90-feet skeleton of a blue whale is being placed on the exterior wall of the Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH). Narrating the story of the world’s largest mammal’s journey in Pakistan, director of museum, Dr Muhammad Rafiq told The Express Tribune that a blue whale appeared at the Karachi port in 1970 and could not be returned to the sea due to its weight.
The local fishermen buried the whale near the port. Later, the authorities at PMNH were able to get hold of its skeleton, which was shifted to Islamabad. Rafiq said the whale would be placed on the wall within the next 10 days. He explained that a total of Rs1.5 million has been spent on the project, and the skeleton has been treated with “special chemicals” to protect it from unfavourable weather.
A museum official said they have prepared a “comprehensive strategy” to preserve and protect the natural history of Pakistan and the museum is fulfilling its duties with full dedication and integrity.
PMNH, which falls under the Pakistan Science Foundation, was established in 1979 in Islamabad. The museum’s building was established in 1995 on Garden Avenue, Shakarparian, where several renowned scientists, geologists, botanists and zoologists are engaged in various activities, such as providing relevant and useful information to young students.
The museum aims to illustrate the natural history of Pakistan, and carry out research and investigations in the fields of botany, zoology, mountains and minerals studies. Apart from that, it is making efficient use of the country’s natural resources, provision of facilities to local and foreign researchers to carry out productive studies and presenting the natural history of Pakistan in an attractive way to increase the knowledge of common people, he added.
The museum consists of almost 40 scientists and designers who have carried out extensive research in their respective fields of specialisation. There are more than 600,000 historical models in the museum. The scientist and zoologists have also discovered several new species of plants and animals as well. Apart from that, more than 450 research papers at PMNH have been published by local and foreign publishers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2011.
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