5.30 p.m. Update on juvenile orca stranded in Plimmerton
Sightings of killer whales in the Wellington area made earlier today have been investigated, but searches by boat and air have failed to locate a group.
“We continue to monitor the health of the orca calf and it remains in a stable condition,” says Ian Angus, head of marine species at the Department of Conservation (DOC).
âWe are very aware that the length of time the calf has been in our care, away from its group and its mother, is now over a week. This is not ideal for such a young wild animal.
âTonight the killer whale will remain in the temporary holding pond, but we will be looking at options tomorrow morning, taking into account the weather conditions, any health warnings regarding seawater in the harbor and the welfare of the calf. .
âThe health and well-being of the calf is at the heart of our decision-making. “
Access to the site remains restricted to reduce stress for the orca calf.
International experts the DOC consulted now believe the calf may be between 2 and 6 months old, rather than 4-6 months old as was originally suspected. The age of the Orc calf naturally determines how long the calf needs care and feeding.
Last Sunday (11/7), the orca calf washed up on rocks near Plimmerton, north of Wellington. An ongoing operation to care for the orca calf is being led by the Department of Conservation (DOC) with support from Orca Research Trust / Whale Rescue Trust, local iwi Ngati Toa Rangatira and the local community.
DOC, veterinarians and Whale Rescue / Orca Research Trust regularly receive advice from international orca experts and veterinarians – information that is vital when making decisions.
Anyone who sees pods of killer whales off the west coast of the lower North Island – especially between Wellington and Taranaki – is encouraged to provide as much information as possible to DOC, via [email protected] .nz or by calling 0800 DOC HOT. Critical information includes group location, direction of animal movement, and photographs or videos that clearly show the saddle / back markings of the animals and their dorsal fins.
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