California Condor at Safari Park breaks record - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

California Condor at Safari Park breaks record

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego Zoo announced Tuesday that a California condor hatched at the Safari Park about two weeks ago, the first chick of the season and the earliest birth of the species on record.

Born Feb. 10, it's the only California condor chick in the world right now, according to the zoo. The San Francisco Zoo reported the birth of an Andean condor last week.

The young bird is named Swayin, meaning "winter'' in the Chumash language.

The mother is Pismo and first-time dad is Xas -- pronounced "Haas.'' Park officials said the parents have been caring for the chick around-the- clock, cleaning it, feeding it and keeping it warm. As Swayin gets older, the parents will begin to leave the nest for longer periods of time.

About 45 days after hatching, the chick will receive its first veterinary exam. Blood samples will be taken and sent to the park's lab to determine whether the chick is female or male.

A recovery program for the California condor was established in 1982, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Zoo, at a time when only 22 were known to exist in the world.

Since then, the Safari Park has hatched 188 chicks and released more than 130 birds into their natural habitat. Currently, there are more than 420 California condors, more than half of which are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.

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