The stranded baby orca Toa passed away over the weekend and has been taken by iwi to be buried.
The Department of Conservation announced the news on Sunday.
Toa was believed to be between four and six months old. Therefore, he would still have been reliant on his mother’s milk. The DOC and rescuers had been trying to keep him alive with a formula mixture.
However, Toa eventually passed away peacefully. Experts expected that this would occur as it is difficult to keep such young whales captive without their mother.
Department of Conservation marine species manager Ian Angus said they had tried to make Toa as comfortable as possible.
Angus also said that Toa’s body was treated with dignity and respect. No autopsy was needed and burial arrangements were made with Ngāti Toa Rangatira.