Key Points:

Only a sucker or two were lost as Museum of New Zealand staff and researchers moved their "beautiful big squid" from a preservation vat to a display tank yesterday.

The shift involved draining 6000 litres of toxic solution from the tank, rinsing the squid, turning it over so scientists could remove eggs from a rip in the mantle, repairing the rip, then hoisting it into the display case with a preserving fluid.

The next step is restoring the now-deflated 495kg, 4.2m-long colossal squid to her former glory by inserting implants into the mantle.

The opening date for the exhibit will be announced in about a month.