The Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation at the Oregon Zoo (previously) released into the wild three California condors that were hatched and raised to adolescence. The young birds took their time about it but eventually took to the Arizona skies as they were meant to do so.
Three California condors hatched and raised at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation went soaring through the open skies of Arizona last month, marking another important step in the effort to save this critically endangered species from extinction.
The three youngsters play a significant part in bringing this species back from critical endangerment. These birds received the first designation of such under the Endangered Species Act in 1973. According to the zoo, there were only 22 birds of this type in 1989. Efforts brought by the Oregon Zoo, the San Diego Zoo, and Los Angeles Zoo, and other conservationists have increased that population to 400.
From a population low of 22 birds in 1989, there are now more than 400 condors, with half flying free. Since 2004, 51 Oregon Zoo-reared condors have been released into wild areas in California and Arizona. Seven are currently breeding in the wild.
Here’s more information about the critically endangered California Condor.