32-Foot-Long Plastic Whale Educates, Amazes Missoulians - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

32-Foot-Long Plastic Whale Educates, Amazes Missoulians

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MISSOULA -

A whale of a tale was told at the University of Montana on Thursday afternoon.

A 32-foot-long gray whale was on stage at the George and Jane Dennison Theatre.

The unique art project is made out of reclaimed plastic materials, such as 9,000 plastic bags, cups and utensils, which are all tied together with plastic string.

It was created in Thurston County, Washington. In April 2010, a gray whale washed up on shore in West Seattle. Scientists found about 30 plastic bags and other plastic trash in its stomach. This event inspired the creation of the whale to teach youngsters and adults about the effects plastics can have on the environment and the options available to reduce the use of plastics.

The lead artist on the project, Carrie Ziegler, said it is a message that applies to Missoulians because the Clark Fork River and area watersheds drain into the Pacific Ocean.

"So even though there's a great distance from the ocean, what we do here, in Missoula, actually affects animals on the other side of the ocean," Ziegler added.

Nine-hundred students worked on the plastic whale for four months before it was completed in April.

The whale will now head back to Washington, where it will be on display at a brand-new children's museum.

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