For days off the coast of New Zealand, the group of orcas that a baby animal belongs to has been searched for days. The two to six month-old young became separated from his family after a storm and stranded among the rocks at Plimmerton, on the North Island near Wellington.
Since then, a group of experts and volunteers have been taking care of Toa, as the young orca is called, in a provisionally built basin off the coast. Toa means brave in Maori.
According to scientists, the youngs family needs to be found quickly, because he does not last long without breast milk. If that doesnt work, they should let him fall asleep. New Zealand does not have a basin or other facilities to take care of him for his lifetime.
“Of course, were all craving a happy end, like in a Disney story,” says naval biologist Karen Stockin in The Guardian. “But we should not be guided by human sentiment and emotions, we should look at the viability and well-being of Toa above all.”
The mammal welfare lives heavily among the New Zealand population. Hundreds of people participate in the whale group search. Several observations of an orapaphamily have already been reported, but because of the storm, rescuers were unable to investigate them further.