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Dead orca washes up on Auckland beach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/03/2017
A dead orca has washed up on the west coast of Auckland at Whatipu Beach. © Photo: Facebook/ James Rogers A dead orca has washed up on the west coast of Auckland at Whatipu Beach.

A dead killer whale possibly struck by a boat has washed up on the west coast of Auckland.

The critically endangered mammal was found at Whatipu Beach on Monday, and the Department of Conservation has sought permission from local iwi to conduct a post-mortem.

A team from Massey University is headed to the scene to investigate the cause of it's death, and to take samples to assess the diet and pollutant loads in the adult, male killer orca.

"Photographs taken by Department of Conservation rangers late [on Monday] show possible blunt force trauma to the head," Coastal-Marine Research Group director Karen Stockin said.

"At this stage it's too early to speculate what the cause of the trauma may be, although boat strike is an obvious consideration."

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