PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A fluffy new condor chick was welcomed at the Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservations this week.
The California condors have laid nine eggs so far this year, according to the zoo. Five are confirmed to be fertile and three additional condor eggs will be arriving from other facilities.
The zoo said one of the eggs has hatched, and the rest are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
"Each new egg is important to the California condor's comeback," said Kelli Walker, the zoo's lead condor keeper. "Every chick that hatches makes a difference."
The newly hatched chick was first noticed on Monday afternoon. A keeper watching video feed of the nest noticed the chick was left alone and acted quickly.
"Once we realized the chick had been left alone, we immediately moved it to the ICU to warm up. The next morning, we placed it in a new nest to be raised by a foster parent," said Walker. "Malibu, the chick's new mom, began tending to her baby right away. She hasn't left the nest box since."
The chicks will stay with their parents for at least eight months before moving to the Jonsson Center's pre-release pens 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.
The California condor was included on the Endangered Species Act back in 1973 and is classified as critically endangered.
The Oregon Zoo said thanks to breeding programs like theirs, condor numbers now total around 450. Most of those birds of flying free.
To learn more about California condors, visit www.oregonzoo.org/discover/animals/california-condor.
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