H-CENTRAL VALLEY

Feb 12, 2013 8:32 PM by Associated Press

PETA critical of condor escape at hockey game

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on the minor league Bakersfield Condors to stop displaying live condors at its hockey games.

The animal welfare group issued a statement Tuesday in response to a game last week in which an Andean condor escaped from a handler and slid on the ice as the national anthem played.

The rare bird of prey - with a wingspan of several feet - is the mascot for the Bakersfield Condors.

During its escape attempt on Friday, the bird slid across center ice before flying toward the Condors' team bench, prompting several players to duck for cover.

PETA told the team in a letter that screaming crowds are frightening for animals, even ones raised in captivity.

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