The orca calf – believed to be between four and six months old – stranded on rocks just north of Hongaeka marae on Sunday afternoon. It is being kept in a temporary enclosure near a wharf at Plimmerton with volunteers from Whale Rescue and Orca Research Trust working alongside Department of Conservation (DOC) and local iwi Ngati Toa Rangitira.
Ian Angus, DOC Marine Species Manager, says the animal’s welfare remains the priority. The calf is being closely monitored and has received specialist veterinary treatment today. The animal is being provided with fluids and electrolytes by the veterinarian.
More specialist veterinary assessment and further treatment has been arranged for tomorrow morning.
“Rehabilitating the animal and reuniting it with its pod remains our objective. We’re very focussed on its welfare aware of the need to ensure it isn’t suffering,” Ian Angus says.
A sighting of a pod earlier today near Raumati saw DOC dispatch a boat to confirm if it’s the family of the stranded calf. The description of the pod matches eyewitnesses reports from when the calf stranded on Sunday.