Walrus move to Margate: live blog

How do you move a one-tonne taxidermy walrus? We live blog our walrus' trip to Margate.

8:00am, 13 May 2013

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our live blog about our walrus move. We’ll be updating this throughout the day to let you know how the move is going.

While the move is happening, our Natural History Gallery will be closed to visitors, so we hope that this blog will take you behind the scenes and give you a sense of what’s happening.

So far, the Walrus has been cleaned in advance of his visit to Margate. Also, the iceberg which surrounds the Walrus has been removed.


Moving the Walrus is giving us a chance to learn more about him, including what’s inside.


The scaffolding is going up around the Natural History Gallery in preparation for the lift. It’s…purple?


We’ve now moved on to x-raying the Walrus’ head.


Currently preparing the crate in which the Walrus will be transported.


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Walrus crate is being prepared!

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Scaffolding: rising.


The gantry which will hold the walrus as he is lifted is now complete.


Walrus wheeled into position before his upward move.


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He’s on the move! #walrus #horniman

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He’s in the air!


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Free-flying #Walrus!

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Being lowered on to a new platform to take his weight for the big lift.



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A #Walrus birds’ eye view. #horniman

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We’re very happy, relieved and glad to report that our wonderful walrus has been moved successfully. He’s currently being packed up in a crate in advance of his trip to Margate. Here’s a short video of him in the air – we’ll have a longer video about the whole procedure later in the week.

9.15am, 14 May 2013

The Walrus has spent the night on his new platform at the front of the gallery. Today he will be carefully packed by the Conservation team and safely crated up ready for his journey to Margate.


The first task for today is for our conservation department to check the Walrus’s condition, and make sure he’s ship-shape for his trip to Margate.


We’re packing the Walrus to make sure he will be safe when he’s in transit.


Packing the Walrus is continuing, including a ‘blindfold’ to protect his eyes.


Having placed protective covers around the Walrus, we’re now beginning to build the remainder of his crate around him.


Just putting the finishing touches to the crate packing to make sure he can’t shift about while on the road.


The last job for today is to put the last pieces of the crate together, so it is ready to leave the museum tomorrow morning.


That’s it for the Walrus updates today. Tomorrow, he finally leaves the Natural History Gallery and makes his way to Margate.

8.39am, 15 May 2013

This morning the Walrus in his crate was maneuvered out of the Museum and into the fresh air.

This is the first time he has left the Natural History Gallery for well over 100 years.


The Horniman Walrus is loaded up and on his way to Margate!


He’s arrived safely! And with a big audience, naturally.


The Walrus’ air travel isn’t quite over. He still has to make his way up onto his new plinth.

Check out our Instagram account for more pictures of the Walrus being liftedgiven his new plinthsettling in and getting checked over by the Conservation team.