A big hit in Connecticut, the "Whale Trail" comes to Massachusetts and Cape Cod.
55 whale sculptures will be on display throughout Cape Cod & the islands this summer, 2006. Whales are sponsored by businesses or organizations, then an artist is chosen to create a masterpiece.
Photo by IFAW/Julia Cumes
Clark submitted a proposal to paint a representation of an actual, known Right Whale. IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) supported this idea and sponsored Clark to carry it out. Clark chose "Stars", a Right Whale she had seen and photographed often while working as naturalist on whale watching boats on Cape Cod.
Stars is identified by the pattern of white collisities on her head. Stars was born in 1981. She appeared with her first calf, Stripes, in 1986. Also upon her return in 1986, she had a line around her upper jaw and through her baleen.
After careful observation, the Center for Coastal Studies Whale Rescue Team, Provincetown, MA, determined that she was able to move, feed, and nurse her calf freely, so no intervention was planned to remove the line for fear of upsetting the calf.
As of 1989, the line was stilll there.
The North Atlantic Right Whale is the most endangered whale in the world. Early colonists of the 1600's wrote in logs that "one could almost walk across Cape Cod Bay on the backs of whales" because there were so many. By the end of the 1700's, none could be found to hunt.
Protected since 1937, the first whale to be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the population has not shown significant recovery. The remaining 300 or so are at constant risk of ship strikes and fishing gear entangelemnts.
You can see a mural of Stars and her calf at the Hearth 'n Kettle Restaurant located at the John Carver Inn in Plymouth, MA. To see a partial view and other whale murals, visit: The Murals.