Monday, June 12, 2006

Condor chick dies at Oregon Zoo

The hopeful tale of the last California Condor chick to hatch in the Oregon Zoo's captive-breeding program ended last week. The chick born to parents 137 and 147 needed help to hatch from its egg on May 28, and the zoo's staff discovered the dead chick on June 6.

In a press release today, assistant condor curator Shawn St. Michael said,
"While the loss of our chick is tragic, our primary focus for the recovery effort is to raise condors that are the best possible candidates for return to the wild, so whenever possible we try and return chicks to their parents. Our condors have a much better chance of thriving if they've learned how to be a condor by a condor parent rather than a condor puppet," he added.

"This is just part of a growing program, and something that all the condor breeding facilities have had to deal with," lamented St. Michael. "Hopefully we'll have better results next year from this pair."


California Condor courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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