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Rescue of Baby Orca (Toa) New Zealand. Orca Research Trust.

  • Closing update     26 July 2021

    Posted by: Orca Research Trust
    Main image

    Dear Donors

    By now, you will probably have heard that little Toa passed away on Friday evening. He was gently held up by people he trusted and who cared deeply for his wellbeing, while he took his last breaths.

    He deteriorated quickly and while the vets and biologists on site did all they could, it was his time to go from this world. We all wanted to see Toa swimming free with his pod and to follow his story for many years to come so it’s both difficult and poignant to write our closing update to you.

    We wanted to take a moment to thank you once again for the kindness, messages and donations you provided to help us in our fight to reunite a unique and special creature with his natural habitat and family. Your generosity and encouragement helped us support Toa and keep all options open for us to always do what was best for him.

    As we now wrap up the event, we will reflect on the gifts, learnings and unexpected joys that a little orca brought to us all. His plight created a worldwide community of caring individuals and made us stronger together.

    With love and thanks,

    from all of us who needed all of you.

    Photo Credit: Dr Ingrid Visser.

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    • 26/07/2021 by Kelza

      Thank you for all the kindness you showed towards Toa. Of course not the outcome anyone wanted and this is a truly sad ending. I am just wondering, even though it's a raw time for most, whether we can know the actual story of what happened to Toa. One minute he was thriving, the next minute gone which I know in his case can be expected, however there has been a lot of talk and speculation going around and I would like to know for my own peace of mind what took place leading up to his final days. Please know that I am grateful to all the volunteers and everyone who did their upmost best to help support Toa during this time. Rip Toa.

    • 27/07/2021 by Christine

      I still feel very sad when I think of Toa, and have shed a few tears. I can only imagine how much worse it must be for those who cared for him, and bonded with him. and would like to thank those that helped him in his time of need.

      RIP Toa x

  • Wednesday 21.07.21      21 July 2021

    Posted by: Orca Research Trust

    Today, we wanted to share with you a donor’s story that really touched the hearts of our team.

    I realise this is one story in many and I hope the telling of it reflects a moment in time when all the small and large offerings and gifts of help, money, goods or encouragement are given with love and good wishes. We know that every offer and donation is given for a reason that is meaningful and that you are all moved by the situation and care about Toa and what’s best for him, just like us.

    A few days ago, one of our core team members met a woman just by chance. Our long serving volunteer posted a request on the Whale Watch Wellington Facebook page to ask about borrowing or buying a dry suit. The woman realised he was from the team helping Toa and while she didn’t have a dry suit, she wanted to give him a donation instead, which he passed on the support team.

    The woman explained the reason she decided to give the money was because her much loved brother, who had passed away suddenly, was an avid diver and deeply passionate about NZ’s marine environment. She said she knew in her heart from the moment she heard about Toa, that her brother would have been with us working hard to help to return him to the wild, and he would have donated whatever he could afford to.

    We know that many of our donors will have stories of why Toa’s situation moves them, and we want to say “thank you!” All the Orca Research Trust and Whale Rescue team members are volunteers, and we know the same goes for many of the other incredible organisations and individuals who are taking part in this project. So, from all of us, to each of you – Thank you so much.

    With much gratitude from all of us in Wellington.

    (Shared with permission of the donor).

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  • Sunday 18.07.21 - update to donors.      18 July 2021

    Posted by: Orca Research Trust

    Hello and thank you!

    We have reached our first milestone of $10,000 NZD raised to help save Baby Toa the Orca. There are not enough words to thank all of you who have donated. Toa is doing well and enjoys a nap while resting on a caregiver, in between feeds and exercise. He is still in his temporary pool while we wait out the storm to keep him and the volunteers safe. There have been some sightings of a pod of Orca up the coast a little way and as soon as the weather clears and it’s safe to look for them – we will be out there!

    We are so very grateful to everyone who has donated money, time or goods – all the gifts make our efforts a little easier or widen our options in helping the little guy get back to his rightful place in the ocean. We have read all the messages of support and encouragement - it means so much to us and helps us keep going, as we put all our energy into keeping Toa protected and well.

    If you have not already done so, please share the donation page link wherever you can and thank you again for your kindness and support.

    We have posted a short video of Toa in his pool, as he plays with the water hose - so you can see how he is doing.

    Thanks again from Dr Ingrid Visser and the rescue team.

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