Akron, OH

Akron Zoo welcomes Andean condor chick

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle

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Akron, OH – An Andean chick has hatched at the Akron Zoo for the first time in its history. Grock and Carlotta are this male chick’s parents and so far he is doing well. Grock and Carlotta have a history of unintentionally crushing eggs therefore the egg was removed for incubation and is now being hand-raised in the zoo’s animal hospital through animal and vet care teams. For feedings and social interactions, the team will use a condor hand puppet.

As listed by the IUCN Red List, the Andean condor is vulnerable to extinction. Its population is declining due to several factors such as the species’ low reproductive rate, human conflict, and competition from prying species like black vultures.

Native to the Andes Mountains in South America, Andean condors are the biggest flying birds in the world, measuring 4 feet tall and weighing 20-30 pounds. The condor’s wingspan is 10-12 feet wide when it becomes an adult.

With assistance from the Andean Condor Species Survival Plan (SSP), the chick hatched through its breeding recommendation. The Species Survival Plan is a scientifically instructed breeding program that advertises genetic diversity in endangered species. Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Akron Zoo participated in 46 Species Survival Plans as an accredited facility.

Developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Species Survival Plan helps to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums that are threatened or endangered in the wild.

The chick is unfit for public debut as it is still being hand-raised but the zoo plans to give updates through their varied social media channels.

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