21 Jul 2021

Tough decisions for baby orca as search for family now 10 days

From Checkpoint, 7:54 pm on 21 July 2021

By visual journalist Samuel Rillstone

The stranded orca currently being cared for in Porirua is likely to remain in the temporary pool for at least another day due to ongoing poor weather.

The calf, named Toa, was stranded on rocks near Plimmerton 10 days ago, and has been looked after by vets and the Department of Conservation.

It was originally being kept in a sea pen, but was moved to a pool last Thursday where it remains.

Bad weather has kept Toa in the pool ever since, and with bad weather still predicted, he will not be returning to the sea pen.  

DOC marine species manager Ian Angus said some of the previous health issues are no longer a cause for concern.

"We are still planning for a range of scenarios. While the orca's health is still stable, we are also being realistic as we consider the ongoing welfare of this animal - that has to be our number one concern," Angus said.

Veterinarians are onsite day and night and continue to carry out health checks on the animal.