Oregon Zoo releases seven critically endangered California condors into the wild

Oregon Zoo releases seven critically endangered California condors into the wild

The Oregon Zoo released seven California condors into the wild last month.

The critically endangered birds were hatched and raised at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation in Portland before they were released along the California Central Coast.

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“The condors released last month are doing great so far,” said Joe Burnett, condor program manager at the Ventana Wildlife Society. “They’re roosting in good spots and getting plenty to eat.”

The California condors, of which there are fewer than 600 in the wild, flew out of a cage in San Simeon and joined a group free-flying birds.

“It’s so wonderful to see them take flight,” said Kelli Walker, the zoo’s senior condor keeper. “We’ve had a lot of success with Oregon Zoo condors pairing off with their wild counterparts to hatch the next generation of free-flying birds.”

Since 2003 more than 103 chicks have hatched at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, and more than 73 Oregon Zoo raised birds have been able to be released into the wild.

Even more exciting news for the endangered species… the first California condor egg arrived at the zoo last week!

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