The search for baby killer whale Toa’s pod will continue today by sea and air after credible sightings were reported in Seatoun and Makara Tuesday morning.
Ian Angus, marine species manager at the Department of Conservation (DOC), said today’s weather offered the best chance to look for the pod.
Toa remained in a temporary pool this morning while seawater quality was assessed and weather conditions monitored. Heavy rainfall and a burst sewage pipe contributed to worse-than-normal water quality in Plimmerton and Porirua last weekend.
Toa had a case of colic last night, but vets had been monitoring it and it appeared to have recovered, Angus said.
“Moving the orca can cause stress, so with bad weather expected from Wednesday night, it could stay in the temporary pool until the weather clears up later in the week, rather than moving it twice,” he said.
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The Porirua site remains closed to the public today for safety reasons and for the welfare of the orca.
The orca stranded on rocks near Plimmerton, north of Wellington, nine days ago.
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 Ngati Toa Rangatira and the local community.
“If you see an orca pod, report it immediately and make sure you keep 50 meters away from it,” Angus said.