The Tay Whale

In the winter of 1883 a 41 foot, 16½ ton humpback whale swam up and down the River Tay in search of fish. Unfortunately for this poor whale Dundee happened to have the largest whaling fleet in Britain which just happened to be at home for the winter.

Sensing a quick easy bit of cash they were quickly after it  striking the beast with harpoons. The whale apparently dragged two six oar boats, a steam tug and a steam launch out to Montrose then down towards the Firth of Forth before about turning and heading back to Dundee. It finally managed to break free but was mortally wounded and found a week later by fisherman floating six miles off Inverbervie.

It was on display in Dundee for three weeks before being embalmed and taken on a tour of Britain before ending up back in Dundee where it has remained ever since. Proudly on display in the McManus Galleries as a warning to any whales that think of fishing in Tay waters again.

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