Oregon Zoo welcomes first California condor chicks of the year - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo welcomes first California condor chicks of the year

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A nest-cam monitor shows the Oregon Zoo's first California condor chick of 2018, lower left, with new dad No. 540. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. A nest-cam monitor shows the Oregon Zoo's first California condor chick of 2018, lower left, with new dad No. 540. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Two pairs of California condor parents welcomed nine new eggs at the Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation on Sunday.

The condors laid nine eggs this year, with seven confirmed to be fertile. Two have hatched, and the rest are expected to arrive in the coming weeks kicking off the year's breeding season.

Since January, the offsite Oregon Zoo facility has been working on species recovery of the endangered chicks.

"Each new egg is critical to the California condor's comeback,” Kelli Walker, the zoo's lead condor keeper said.

The chicks will stay with their parents for at least eight months before moving to the Jonsson Center for about a year and a half.

The chicks will then travel to a wild release site to join free-flying condors in California, Arizona or Baja Mexico, according to the zoo.

The California condor was included on the Endangered Species Act back in 1973 and is classified as critically endangered

Due in part to the condor breeding programs at Oregon Zoo, condors now total around 450 with the majority free flying.

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