Friday, April 6, 2012
The California condor chick born last month will be named "Saticoy,'' the San Diego Zoo announced today.
The name, selected by 41 percent of more than 4,100 respondents in an online poll, means "sheltered from the wind'' in the Chumash language. It is also the name of a town in Ventura County and a major street in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
Saticoy barely beat out "Moyomin,'' which means "to be mischievous.''
It received 40.3 percent of the vote. The rest went to "Maxa'lam,'' which means "to hold a festival or throw a party.''
The finalists were chosen out of 93 online suggestions by condor handlers at the zoo's Safari Park.
"The interest people have shown, coupled with naming the chick, is fitting for this unique opportunity.'' said Michael Mace, the park's curator of birds. "The chick is `sheltered from the wind' today but in the future could be soaring on winds in the wild."
Saticoy is more active now, and can be seen playing with its feathers, stones or other items in its nest on the zoo's "Condor Cam.'' Its darker brown secondary feathers are growing in, keepers said.
As it gains strength, the chick will hop around and test its wings until it tries its first flight about five to six months of age, according to zoo officials. Condor parents generally tend to their chicks until they are about a year old.
Only 22 condors were left in the world when the California Condor Recovery Program was instituted in the 1980s. The current estimate is that the population is up to 386, more than half of which are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California.