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Condor Chick Hatches In Baja Mountains

Above: Mike Wallace who leads the Condor Recovery Program checks on the first condor chick born in the wild to survive 45 days. Wallace repelled down a 330 foot cliff to get to the bird.

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Aired 6/19/09

San Diego Zoo officials say a condor chick that hatched recently in Mexico marks a new milestone in the Condor Recovery Program. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

San Diego Zoo officials say a condor chick that hatched recently in Mexico marks a new milestone in the Condor Recovery Program.

San Diego Zoo officials say this is the second Condor chick hatched since the birds were reintroduced to a mountain range in central Baja California.

The first died after a month. This one is 45 days old.

Mike Wallace leads the program.

He says this birth is the first step toward self sufficiency for the condors his group has released in Baja.

"There's nothing like having a chick in the wild, hatched on the cliff and trained by its parents. That's probably the ultimate, the best you can do in terms of producing a bird that is going to be as wild as possible."

Wallace says prior to the release of condors in Baja seven years ago, a condor hadn't been spotted there since the late 19-30's.

Condors were added to the endangered species list more than 40 years ago.

Wallace says the goal is to grow the population to 450 so they're not endangered anymore.

He says the new chick's parents laid an egg last year, but it died shortly before it was due to hatch.

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