Mar 9, 2010 1:23 PM
PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT, Calif. (AP) - Biologists are celebrating the first condor egg laid by a mating pair at Pinnacles National Monument in more than a century.
Park spokesman Carl Brenner says a female released in the park in 2004 and a male released the same year at Big Sur had been observed engaged in courtship behavior earlier this year.
Biologists confirmed the presence of the egg Friday.
The last California condors were placed in a captive breeding program in 1982. Today there are 348 in the world, with 95 flying free at three locations in the state.
Condor eggs hatch in 57 days.
Another Pinnacles pair hatched a fledgling on a neighboring ranch last October. The female later died of likely lead poisoning, the biggest threat to the recovery of the giant endangered birds.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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