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Oregon Zoo California condors lay first eggs of breeding season

Keepers are hoping to see more eggs at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation. Photo courtesy Oregon Zoo

PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Zoo officials say the California condors laid the first three eggs of the 2017 breeding season over the past week.

Keepers are hoping to see more eggs at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation.

Since they eggs were laid, keepers say the father of one of the eggs has proven to be a helpful parent.

“The first time he saw the egg, he was very gentle and immediately started incubating,” said Kelli Walker, the zoo’s lead condor keeper. “We’ll have to see how he reacts when the chick hatches, but so far he’s been an exceptional dad, and has been doing most of the incubating. He gets a gold star.”

The father of this egg came from the Los Angeles Zoo. It’s the first egg for the male and female mates.

“Each new egg is critical to the California condor’s comeback,” Walker said.

In 1982, only 22 California condors remained in the wild. The Oregon Zoo and other breeding programs have recovered the population to more than 400. Most of them live in the wild.

Walker expects the first chicks will hatch in late March or early April.

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