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Wellington teen describes 'close' bond he's formed with stranded baby orca

It’s been three days since an orca calf was found stranded in Wellington, and efforts are ramping up to reunite it with its pod. 

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Ben Norris alerted authorities about the orca on Sunday and he’s been helping care for it since. Source: Breakfast

Among the volunteers caring for the calf is Ben Norris, a 16-year-old from Plimmerton who is spending his school holidays looking after it. He found the orca stranded and struggling in a rock pool north of Plimmerton on Sunday.  

After helping to relocate the stranded animal to the Plimmerton boating club, Ben has been visiting it every day. 

Ben said he thinks the orca recognises him now. 

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Wellington teen spending holidays caring for stranded baby orca

“He’ll come over … he’s kind of like a dog,” he told Breakfast. 

“I’m pretty close to him, all that time spent with him in the water.”

He said it was an “amazing” experience.  

“As much as I’d like to keep him here we’ve got to find his family.” 

Ben Norris with the baby orca he found stranded near Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

Ben is urging locals to keep a look out for the orca pod.

The Department of Conservation told 1 NEWS yesterday its main objective continued to be finding the calf’s pod. 

DOC said yesterday there was a reported sighting of a pod of orca in the Marlborough Sounds, "but we're still encouraging the public to report any orca pod sightings to us via the 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)”. 

Ben Norris. Source: Breakfast

“The range is from the Marlborough Sounds to Whanganui.”