Saturday, January 10, 2009

A bird stud

From the Los Angeles Times, the tale of an endangered bird -- a California Condor -- that created the next generation:

He was found dazed in a mountain bush in 1967, hanging upside down with an injured wing and smelling like rotten fish -- a rare male California condor, a fledgling member of a nearly extinct species.

He was a wreck, and the ornithologists who found him in a canyon north of Ojai speculated that he was also emotionally troubled. Yet Topatopa, named for the mountain range where he was found, was whisked away to the Los Angeles Zoo in the hope that his species, whose numbers had dwindled to a mere 22, could find survival in captivity.

Topa, as he is known for short, lived alone in a cage for the next 20 years, devoid of the socialization needed to learn the basics of condor life. As a teenager, he courted tree stumps and tufts of grass and tried to mate with sticks and rocks. His first encounter with a female was disastrous. He didn't know what to do. She beat him to a pulp.
Click on the above link to read the rest of the article and to watch a 1-minute video about captive breeding at Los Angeles Zoo.

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Blogger Jason Kessler said...

Would that All of this species were as hardy...

January 11, 2009 10:13 AM  

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