Oregon Zoo welcomes first condor chicks of 2017 - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo welcomes first condor chicks of 2017

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A nest-box photo shows the first California condor chick of 2017, which hatched at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation this week — he’s the “little white fluff ball” in the bottom right corner. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. A nest-box photo shows the first California condor chick of 2017, which hatched at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation this week — he’s the “little white fluff ball” in the bottom right corner. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Over a month after the Oregon Zoo debuted the first California condor eggs of the year, two chicks have hatched.

The zoo announced the pair of new residents Thursday. And the two hatchlings could soon have company: seven more condor eggs have been laid in 2017. Of the seven, five eggs are confirmed fertile. Another eggs is expected by the zoo to be on the way soon as well.

“Each new egg is critical to the California condor’s comeback,” said Kelli Walker, the zoo’s lead condor keeper. Back in 1973, the California condor was one of the original animals included on the Endangered Species Act. The bird is currently classified as critically endangered.

The zoo is known for its condor recovery efforts. Since 2003, 63 chicks have hatched at the zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, which is located in rural Clackamas County.

The center’s remote location helps the chances of condor chicks’ survival, since they have minimal exposure to people.

The two new hatchlings, who aren’t siblings, will stay with each of their parents for the next eight months, at least, at the Jonsson Center. After that, they will move to pre-release pens for about a year and a half.

Eventually, the condors will go to a wild release site to join free-flying condors in California, Arizona or Baja Mexico.

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