Whale goodbye for now: Lawrence Hall Pheena sculpture is on the move

Fiberglass fin whales need spa days, too.

Lawrence Berkeley fin whale Pheena gets moved for refurbishment.
Pheena, the fin whale at Lawrence Hall of Science, gets relocated for refurbishment on May 18, 2021. Credit: Lawrence Hall of Science

Lawrence Hall of Science’s life-size fin whale sculpture vanished from her resting spot overlooking Berkeley on Tuesday. But avid fans of Pheena don’t need to fret — she won’t be gone for long.

Pheena is currently getting some TLC at a Richmond boat repair shop, and Lawrence Hall of Science officials said she’ll be back home in about a month. Crews pulled the 3,000-pound sculpture onto a big rig and took a short journey up to Svendsen’s Bay Marine boatyard for her care.

The fiberglass fin whale has been an iconic fixture for crawling, touching and playing on outside the Lawrence Hall of Science for over 45 years. The last time Pheena disappeared for cleaning in 2016, fans gathered with posters and a ribbon-cutting to celebrate her return.

Though it has been closed for most of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence Hall of Science is set to reopen outdoors on Memorial Day weekend, May 28, for a Summer Fundays series through Aug. 15. Pheena should return to her post by mid-summer to take part in the programming.


Check out more images from the Lawrence Hall of Science on Pheena’s big journey last weekend:

Lawrence Berkeley fin whale Pheena gets moved for refurbishment.
Lawrence Hall of Science’s fin whale Pheena gets relocated to Richmond on a cloudy weekend for repairs and refurbishment. Credit: Lawrence Hall of Science
Lawrence Berkeley fin whale Pheena gets moved for refurbishment.
Pheena the fin whale is an “oversize load” as she travels to Richmond on a big-rig. Credit: Lawrence Hall of Science
Lawrence Berkeley fin whale Pheena gets moved for refurbishment.
Pheena gets hoisted onto a big-rig truck with the help of a small crane. Credit: Lawrence Hall of Science
Supriya Yelimeli is Berkeleyside's homelessness and housing reporter. Email: supriya@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: SupriyaYelimeli. Phone: 510-585-8315.