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Orca calf in trouble off Bay of Plenty

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/07/2016

An orca calf is being monitored by concerned conservation staff in the Bay of Plenty after it became separated from its family pod.

The Department of Conservation has been monitoring the calf for more than a week and is getting increasingly worried about its welfare.

"It is unclear where the whale's family pod is and there are no simple answers in how to help the young whale return to its pod," operations manager Jeff Milham said.

The whale is swimming freely but options for assisting it are limited at present.

DOC says it's concerned about stressing the young orca and has advised boaties and the public to keep away.

Staff will continue to monitor the whale as intervention could lead to it potentially bonding artificially with humans, which could jeopardise its chance of survival in the wild.

DOC is consulting local and international marine specialists on how best to deal with the situation.

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