Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Orca Refloated

A happy ending for Orca expert Ingrid Visser today, as she successfully rescued an orca she's studied for years.
The adult male orca had been beached for 2½ hours on Ruakaka Beach (30km south of Whangarei in Northland), and an anxious crowd watched as two other orcas, responding to his distress calls, surfed in waves perilously close to shore.
Miss Visser, familiar with the local orcas, knew the stranded mammal as Putita and the nearby orcas as Putita's mother Yin and his older brother Rua. She said it was not the first time Putita had stranded: he'd previously been rescued at Mangawhai. He may have been catching stingrays in the surf when he got into the shallow water and struck trouble.
The experienced whale watcher was very relieved: "I know all of these whales...they're my family. It doesn't get any better than this."
The total NZ orca population is quite small - less than 200. If you see orca anywhere around NZ, the Orca Research Trust would like to hear from you on 0800 SEE ORCA.

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