15 Jul 2021

Baby orca may be shifted to portable pool if bad weather arrives

7:10 pm on 15 July 2021

A portable pool is being brought on site to hold orphan orca Toa - as an incoming storm looks set to make sea conditions too rough.

The bad weather also put a stop to air and sea searches today.

But today, volunteers from Whale Rescue/Orca Research Trust, the Department of Conservation, local iwi Ngati Toa Rangatira and the community have been working together to keep the calf healthy and stable.

The orca calf - believed to be between four and six months old - stranded on rocks at Plimmerton on Sunday afternoon.

Ian Angus, Department of Conservation (DOC) marine species manager said that the temporary holding pool is being arranged as a safety measure with expected sea swells of up to 4m tomorrow, and potential gale force winds.

"This is a back-up plan for if we feel the sea has got too rough and the calf's welfare, and the welfare of volunteers on site, may be compromised," Angus said in a statement.

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