WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Part of Conny the Whale in West Hartford is on the move after 47 years.

The tail of Conny was successfully and safely removed from the site of the former Children’s Museum on Tuesday. It was moved and placed in storage at the Town of West Hartford’s Public Works facility on Brixton Street.

Pending approval of permits, Conny’s tail will be installed in West Hartford’s Trout Brook Greenway.

Continental Properties, the new owners of the former Children’s Museum property, paid for the costs to remove Conny’s tail and transport it to storage.

Dan Barstow, a member of Cetacean Society International (CSI), has spent much of his life watching the whale’s positive impact on the state.

“My father, Rob Barstow was the spearhead at the very beginning that conceived of this audacious idea to build a full-scale model of a sperm whale,” Barstow said. “We envision Conny swimming away to freedom with the tail as part of the memorial to keep the soul and spirit of Conny the Whale alive.”

The state animal was designated as the sperm whale as part of an effort by the in 1975.

In 1976, CSI constructed the Conny the Whale statute to help raise awareness about the devastating impact of global whaling. At that point, sperm whales had almost been hunted to the point of extinction, according to CSI.

Kingswood Oxford School, which has owned the property since 2022, sold the land to Continental Properties, which is now building a new residential community on site.

The statue is 60 feet long and weighs 20 tons. It is made of cement-reinforced steel bars. CSI ultimately decided it would be too costly — about $250,000 — and challenging to move Conny.

Jessica Dickens, the president of CSI, is relieved to have found a solution.

“It took a long time to get here, and I didn’t think we were going to get to this point,” Dickens said. “I’m happy that we’re here today, and I’m happy that we know that Conny will move on.”

CSI anticipates applying for a permit later this spring to permanently install Conny the Whale on Trout Brook Greenway.

A rendering of how the Conny the Whale sculpture will look after the move (CREDIT: CSI)