Date: 17 July 2021
DOC marine species manager Ian Angus says once the weather conditions improve, a team will be able to investigate further.
“At the moment any reunion attempt would be too dangerous for both the people involved and the orca calf.
“Once conditions improve we will be in a better position to investigate the sighting further, and make a plan from there.”
People should not travel out searching for the pod during the storm, Ian says.
The orca is in a stable condition and remains in the temporary pool it was transferred to on Thursday evening due to health and safety concerns with the incoming storm.
The calf has now been away from his pod for a week after becoming stranded on rocks near Plimmerton, north of Wellington. An ongoing operation to care for the orca calf is being led by DOC with support from Orca Research Trust/Whale Rescue Trust, local iwi Ngāti Toa Rangatira, and the local community.
Anyone who sights orca pods off the lower North Island’s west coast – particularly between Wellington and Taranaki – is urged to provide as much information as possible to DOC, via email@example.com or by calling 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).
Essential information includes location of the pod, direction of travel of the animals, and photographs or videos which clearly show the saddle/back markings of the animals and their dorsal fins.
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