This morning the hunt continues for the family of an abandoned baby orca north of Wellington.
Whale watchers up and down the coast have been keeping watch, with hopes to reunite them.
The young male orca, which is about six months old, has been separated from his pod since being stranded at Plimmerton Beach on Sunday.
The Department of Conservation's marine species manager, Ian Angus, told Morning Report their prime directive was to find the pod and reunite the calf, but the immediate priority was to care for its wellbeing.
He said there were veterinarians with the orca carrying out health assessments. It had some injuries from its stranding, he added.
"It's looking in reasonable condition, given the trauma it's been through the last couple of days - the stranding, and then with the refloatation attempt.
"We've got a number of volunteers in the water with the orca and I understand there's been some really tremendous community spirit in the effort to support this rescue effort."
He said the orca calf was reliant on its mother and hadn't be weaned, so it was important to keep its hydration levels up.
"Obviously the main objective here is to return it back to the pod, but at the moment we've got the two prime tasks. One is the rehabilitation of the calf, trying to get it as healthy as we can, keep stress levels down. The second one is to relocate the pod."
He said the department would be coming up with a new plan today to find the pod.
Angus said past experience had shown the calf can survive for a while and rescuers were hoping for the best outcome.
"We've got days [to find the pod] we believe. Obviously, it depends on the welfare of the calf, and that's something we're monitoring carefully."