Introduction

DOC is concerned about the welfare of a young orca swimming off the Bay of Plenty coast which appears to have been separated from its family pod.

Date:  28 July 2016

DOC staff have been monitoring the orca for over a week and are getting increasingly concerned about the health of the whale. 

“It is unclear where the whale’s family pod is and there are no simple answers in how to help the young whale return to its pod”, said Jeff Milham, District Operations Manager. 

Jeff Milham says the whale is swimming freely and DOC’s marine mammal experts say options for assisting the animal are limited at present. 

He says experts are very concerned about stressing the young orca and DOC is asking boaties and members of the public to keep away from the distressed animal. 

DOC says it will continue to monitor the whale closely as intervention can lead to both stress or the orca potentially bonding artificially with humans – both of which may jeopardise its chances of survival in the wild. 

Jeff Milham says DOC is consulting with local and international marine specialists on how to deal with this challenging situation.

Contact

For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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