DOC staff and volunteers caring for the orca
Image: Leon Berard | DOC

Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Efforts to save a juvenile orca stranded in Porirua near Wellington have continued today, with the animal returned to the water near where it was found.

Date:  12 July 2021

The orca – estimated to be only a few months old – stranded on rocks at Hongoeka north of Plimmerton mid-afternoon on Sunday 11 July.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) – lead government agency in marine mammal stranding situations – is working with the Orca Rescue Trust and volunteers to save the animal.

Ian Angus, DOC’s Marine Species Manager, says the focus remains on caring for the orca and returning it to its pod.

“We’re urging anyone who sees a pod of orca off the coast of Wellington or Kapiti to share that information with us via 0800 DOC HOT,” he says.

“We have a DOC boat out looking for the pod, but other sightings can help us get this calf back to its family. The welfare of this animal is our top priority.”

Ian Angus says DOC is liaising with specialist veterinarians for the calf, which may include administering electrolytes to rehydrate it.

The calf is in the water in a fenced-off area near a jetty, and DOC is urging the public to stay well clear.

“We appreciate people care about these animals and want to help, but the best way they can assist right now is to give us space to focus on this calf. We also want to keep its stress levels as low as possible."

DOC staff and volunteers will resume the search for the pod at first light.

Further information

Updates on the stranded juvenile orca in Porirua

View all updates on the stranded orca


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