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Young orca dies despite rescue efforts

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/08/2016

The young orca stranded in the BoP harbour has died. © Twitter The young orca stranded in the BoP harbour has died. A young orca that became separated from its pod in Tauranga Harbour has died.

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry confirmed the calf died overnight, despite the best efforts of would-be rescuers.

The calf had been seen alone in the Tauranga area during the last few weeks and the Department of Conservation, local iwi and the Orca Research Trust had become increasingly worried about its health - especially after attempts to feed it failed.

This week volunteers moved the young orca into a temporary structure on the coast in a bid to save it.

The orca was initially fed electrolytes and water through a tube and later was given a fish slurry. It appeared to make good progress with rehydration but it didn't return to full health.

"Rescue and release of an orca this young would have been a world first," Ms Barry said.

"The chances of success were always slim, but those who gave their time and effort to the calf should be proud of their efforts."

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