After a short fight to keep his body going, the wee orca calf we knew by various names such as Bob, Tama, Ongare and Tiger, died in our arms at 0415 on 6 August 2016. As his heart slowed and his breathing became fainter he was comforted and supported by us all. His care team are deeply saddened by everyone’s loss and respect their various ways of grieving. A few hours after his death a Maori karakia (blessing) was performed followed by the Lord’s Prayer in Maori. Kind and gentle words were spoken by respected members of the community. He was then gathered into the folds of the Iwi (Maori tribe) and taken for a private ceremony to buried with respect and dignity on an island overlooking the ocean and where wild orca frequent.
This afternoon, upon the low tide, the local community and his care team all gathered along the water’s edge near the mooring buoy where he spent more than three weeks waiting for help. Flowers, native leaves and sea shells were scattered as we all thought about the joy he had brought us in the few hours he was amongst us. We cannot begin to express our thanks for all the kind words, the support and the donations that all went into the team effort to care for him. We will continue to accept donations in his name in order to assist the overseas experts to return to their own families and for the care of the wild orca. Over the next few days we will post a series of photos and videos in celebration of his short life and the hearts he touched and warmed.
Imagine being alone and hungry for more than three weeks.
Imagine not knowing where your family is when you are only a youngster.
Imagine your only company is a bright orange mooring buoy.
Imagine fighting the strong tidal currents 22 hours a day.
Imagine being this little orca calf.
Now you can help.
Rescued and placed in rehabilitation on Wednesday, 3 August 2016, the next steps for this young orca are critical and require funding to give his recovery the best possible chance. There are many real costs involved and he will grateful for any support you can give him.
A few dollars will buy some of his medication, a few more will help with transport costs and he is looking for support for his rescue team, many who have flown in from overseas, just to help him. They too need food and a place to rest and all this costs money.
WATCH AN EXCLUSIVE ORCA RESEARCH TRUST VIDEO ABOUT THIS LITTLE ORCA.
Help get him back to his family in the wild.
Every donation will make a difference.
Dr Ingrid Visser alongside the young orca shortly after he was lowered in to the Parapool