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'The new chick is sitting up and making plenty of noise already,' zookeeper says of endangered birds at a Clackamas County facility.

A new fluffy resident hatched at an Oregon Zoo facility this month.

In an announcement, the zoo said an endangered California condor chick hatched in the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, located in rural Clackamas County.COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON ZOO - The California condors are returning to Oregon Zoo's Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation.

Zoo officials say the remoteness of the facility minimizes the exposure of young condors to people, increasing the chances for captive-hatched birds to survive and breed in the wild.

"The new chick is sitting up and making plenty of noise already, which is an excellent sign," said Kelli Walker, who oversees the zoo's condor recovery efforts. "The parents are being really attentive, and the whole family is doing great."

Since mid-January, condors at the Jonsson Center have been laying the groundwork for species recovery one egg at a time, the zoo noted. In addition to the new hatchling, 11 other fertile eggs have been laid this year and more chicks are expected soon.

To aid in the zoo's recovery efforts, visible security cameras are providing improved views into nesting areas, helping staff better monitor the health of chicks and parents.

"Visible security cameras from Teledyne FLIR are providing improved views into the nesting areas and 24/7 observation of the condors, helping zoo staff better monitor the health of chicks and parents," the zoo said in the announcement.

Zoo officials say the California condor was one of the original 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 brought into human care in an attempt to save the species from extinction.

"Thanks to recovery programs like the Oregon Zoo's, the world's California condor population now totals around 500 birds, most of which are flying free," added the announcement.

The Oregon Zoo Foundation and the Avangrid Foundation support upgrades and new equipment at the center where the new baby condor is located.

"More than 70 chicks have hatched at the Jonsson Center since 2003, and more than 50 Oregon Zoo-reared birds have gone out to field pens for release. Several eggs laid by Oregon Zoo condors have been placed in wild nests to hatch," according to zoo officials.


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