‘It was stuck’: Oregon Zoo helps rare baby bird hatch - KPTV - FOX 12

‘It was stuck’: Oregon Zoo helps rare baby bird hatch

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Photo provided by the Oregon Zoo. Photo provided by the Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo welcomed an endangered aviation addition to its family last week.

The California Condor chick, known as OZ09, is the fifth bird of its kind to hatch at the zoo since March.

Zookeepers are expecting two other chicks to hatch soon. OZ09 marks the 69th chick to hatch at the zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation since 2003.

The California Condor is considered critically endangered was one of the original animals included on the 1973 Endangered Species Act, the zoo says.

Caretakers had to help the chick, known as OZ07, break through its shell.

“The chick was active inside the egg, but it couldn’t break through,” Kelli Walker, senior condor keeper, said. “It was stuck.”

Walker and staff used a bright light to see if the chick was moving inside the egg and decided OZ07 needed an assist. She says assisted hatches are rare but necessary sometimes.

“If a chick isn’t hatching on its own for whatever reason, we work with our vets to help the process along,” Walker said.

Caretakers carefully snipped open sections of OZ07’s shell and welcomed it into the world.

After a night of observation in the center’s intensive care unit, keepers placed OZ07 back into an eggshell and returned it to Mali and Sespe, the chick’s mom and dad.

Walker said its confusing for Condor parents if their chicks are returned without an egg.

“So we have to pretend a little,” Walker said.

Within five minutes of returning the chick, Walker says its parents started caring for it.

When OZ09 is fully grown, it will travel to a wild release site to join free-flying condors in California, Arizona or Baja Mexico, to help boost the species' population, the zoo says. 

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