San Diego Zoo online viewers watch, name condor chick - Tucson News Now

San Diego Zoo online viewers watch, name condor chick

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The San Diego Zoo's newest condor chick, which was hatched in front of millions of people through the zoo's live streaming system, has been named Cuyamaca, which means "through the clouds" in Chumash.

The San Diego Zoo Global's Wildlife Conservancy held an online naming contest. Other name finalists were Niwish, meaning "to dance," and Tiyep, or "to teach."

Michael Mace, the curator of birds at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park said the name Cuyamaca is fitting because the chick may one day be released into the wild and seen "through the clouds."

Millions of people watched Cuyamaca hatch on March 26 through the zoo's Condor Cam, and continue to view the parents clean and feed the chick.

The Condor Cam has reached more than 200,000 viewers this year and can be viewed any time at www.sandiegozooglobal.org/video/condor_cam. Field biologists, behaviorists and zookeepers were the only people formerly able to witness the condor's parental behavior until the zoo installed the camera last year.

Zoo representatives said he is becoming more active and viewers can watch him play with nest items, like feathers, stones or other items. The parents will continue to tend to the chick until it is approximately 1 year old.

There were 22 remaining condors in the world in the 1980s. With the help of the California Condor Recovery Program, the Safari Park has hatched more than 170 chicks and 80 have been released into the wild.

There are now more than 400 condors with omre than half flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.

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