16 Sep 2011

Stranded young whale dies

8:32 pm on 16 September 2011

A young female orca has died after stranding near Whangaparoa Peninsula, north of Auckland.

The Department of Conservation says the calf - which was about two years old - showed signs of emaciation.

DoC says the orca appears to have become separated from its pod and may have struggled to forage for itself, which could have led to dehydration and starvation.

A post-mortem will be carried out by the Institute of Natural Sciences, which will reveal if the animal suffered any injuries or swallowed objects, such as plastic, that may have contributed to its death.