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Four Oregon Zoo Raised Condors Return to the Wild

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: October 25, 2020 8:35 am

oregon zoo condor release

Photo Credit: Oregon Zoo

Four California condors which hatched at the Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation are back to soaring through the wild after being released at Vermillion Cliffs.

Condors no. 965 and 975 were released on October 21st while no. 964 and 971 were released on September 21st. The released condors join a free flying group of condors which live on the sandstone cliffs and colorful rock formations.

No 971. Is affectionately known as Cade by care staff in honor of the founder of the Peregrine Fund, Tom Cade who passed away shortly before the chicks egg was laid in 2019.

"The condors released last month are doing great," said Tim Hauck, program manager for The Peregrine Fund. "They're roosting in good spots and getting plenty to eat."

At Vermillion the birds undergo a soft release. This means that they can choose when to leave the release pen.

"It's tremendously gratifying to see them take off," said Dr. Kelly Flaminio, who oversees the Oregon Zoo's condor recovery efforts. "Over the years, condors raised by the Oregon Zoo have been very successful and have paired up with other condors to raise new wild-hatched chicks."

The California condors as they returned to the wild

Video Credit: Alan Clampitt, The Peregrine Fund/Oregon Zoo

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The California condor is classed as critically endangered but their population has recovered from a low of 22 individuals in 1982. In 1987 the remaining condors were brought in to captivity to begin a breeding project.

Since 2003 70 chicks hatched at the Jonsson Center and 50 Oregon Zoo raised birds have been sent to release pens to return to the wild.

The Jonsson center for wildlife conservation is located on Metro-owned open land in rural Clackamas County. At this remote facility the condor chicks have little exposure to humans which helps increase the chance of survival in the wild.

California condor breeding programs are also run by San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, the Los Angeles Zoo and the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey in Idaho.

Learn more about the California Condor – California Condor Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Oregon Zoo on their website – Oregon Zoo

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