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3 California condors awaiting release in San Simeon

Posted at 9:19 AM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 12:19:41-05

Some California condors are awaiting release in San Simeon.

The Ventana Wildlife Society is hoping weather clears up Wednesday to allow for the release of three of the seven condors received this year.

The condors awaiting release include one female and two males.

At least nine California condors were killed during the Dolan Fire back in August and two chicks were never found, which is more than the number of condors lost to California wildfires in the last 25 years combined.

Kelly Sorenson, executive director at Ventana Wildlife Society, says, “Having lost so many birds, it’s really important to us to get caught up and get back to releasing and restoring condors to the wild.”

The organization is responsible for rehabilitating condors before they’re eventually released into the wild, training them for things like how to eat, how to land and even things like avoiding landing on power lines.

Condors stand at about 3-feet tall and have a 9.5-foot wingspan.

There are six California condor release sites. One in Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona, another one in Mexico, and four locations in California, one of those being in San Simeon. That’s where seven condors have been for the last six weeks.

“It’s (the condor) not only endangered but it has the highest level of concern within that category and it’s because the population got down to just 22 in 1982 and we almost lost the species entirely,” Sorenson said.

He adds that number increased to 200 at the onset of 2020, with more than half of the population free flying in central California.

Weather pushed Tuesday’s planned released in San Simeon to Wednesday.

“We’re talking about condors that’ve never flown before. And we want that first flight to be a day with good safe conditions. We’re just trying to give these condors the best chance possible at release,” Sorenson said.

For more on the condors, click here.