Pinnacles condors to get treatment closer to home

CONDOR3_dac_042707PhotoByDanielA.CRESSMAN A free flying condor scanned the area over Pinnacles National Monument during a public release.

Sick, endangered condors from Pinnacles National Monument will now have the ability to get treatment a lot closer to home as part of a new partnership announced with the Oakland zoo, according to a recent announcement.

Pinnacles National Monument has hosted a recovery program since 2003, but sick California condors – some due to lead poisoning – have been transported for treatment to the Los Angeles Zoo, the closest facility with capability to handle such bird poisoning.

In recent months, the Oakland Zoo has been constructing a holding facility while veterinary staff members have been trained in proper procedures for treating poisoned birds. Now, ill birds from Pinnacles or Big Sur can be transported to the site within a much closer proximity.

“Our vision is for condors to one day no longer need veterinary care but until then we know that the Oakland Zoo will be a great addition to the condor program,” said Kelly Sorenson, executive director of Ventana Wildlife Society, in a statement.

According to the announcement, a 900-square-foot size building at Oakland Zoo was constructed to provide an isolated area for sick birds – where they can rest and recover while being quarantined from the zoo’s resident animals.

Additionally, while teaming up with the California Condor Recovery Program, the Oakland Zoo has installed a condor webcam in its new holding facility. The funding was donated by FedEx with a camera supplied by Camzone. It will be used to monitor and evaluate birds being rehabilitated without disrupting them. The general public will also have access to watch the webcam on Oakland Zoo’s website, 

In 1987, the last wild California condor was taken into captivity to join the 26 remaining condors in an attempt to bolster the population through captive breeding. Through the effort, 50 condors have returned to the wild in Central California. There are only about 231 California condors in the wild today.

To learn more about this partnership and watch a video, go to and click on the webcam tab.

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