Via Orca Research Trust:
ORCA “Koru” STRANDING
The adult male orca, known as Koru (NZ123) had a close encounter with the Orca Research Trust team on Monday (20 May 2013), when he became stuck on a sandbank in the Kaipara Harbour. Alerted by the Kaipara Coastguard, the ORT team set off and arrived to find Koru being carefully attended by the fishermen who had first found him. Koru remained calm, whilst he was kept wet, awaiting the returning tide. Our measurements showed that Koru was 6.45 m long – not large compared to the largest male orca measured (just over 9 m), but no small boy either and certainly well within the average size range.
Koru gets his name because the tip of his fin curls over, so it looks like an unfurling fern frond, often called a koru in Māori. The koru spiral shape symbolizes new life, growth, strength and peace. Koru the orca had a new lease on life when he got off the sandbank and headed out of the harbour, accompanied by an adult female orca, known as Nicky. Along with Nicky’s most recent calf, they headed towards the harbour entrance as the sun was setting. We are very interested to hear of any sightings of orca along the New Zealand coastline as we want to monitor’s Koru’s progress. Please call 0800 SEE ORCA to help us keep an eye on him and the other orca. Thanks!