West Ada

Idaho's condor program provides foster parents for chick from Oregon Zoo

The last of the Oregon Zoo's 2016 Condor eggs was about to hatch last week, but its parents weren't incubating it.

So the condor keeper at the zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation drove the egg to the Treasure Valley, where a condor pair at the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey stepped in.

Marti Jenkins, condor-breeding specialist with the Peregrine Fund, said the condor foster parents in Idaho received the Oregon egg with much enthusiasm and have been very attentive to their new charge.

“It was a little frightening because the male from the pair decided the chick needed some immediate hatching assistance,” Jenkins said. “He began breaking the shell off the top of the egg as soon as he found it, and the chick went from pip to hatch in under eight hours. Despite the quick hatch, the chick appears to be doing very well and is absolutely adored and doted on by its new parents.”

The California condor was one of the first animals included on the 1973 Endangered Species Act and is classified as critically endangered. In 1982, only 22 individuals remained in the wild and by 1987, the last condors were taken into captivity in an attempt to save the species. Thanks to breeding programs like those in Oregon and Idaho, condor numbers now total more than 400, with the majority of those flying free, according to the news release.