Escondido, California - The young condor chick who hatched on April 29 and is visible on San Diego Zoo Global's Condor Cam now has a name: Su'nan, which means "to continue to or to keep on" in the Chumash language.
An online naming contest conducted by San Diego Zoo Global's Wildlife Conservancy announced that Su'nan was the final winner, with 900 votes. In second place was the name Antik, which means "to recover," with just over 600 votes.
"This years Condor Cam chick has attracted thousands of followers as people observed the chick hatch and watched it being raised," said Michael Mace, curator of birds at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. "Su'nan is a fitting name because the condor population was once at the brink of extinction. This species has fought hard to 'continue on,' making this a great name for the highly watched condor chick."
At more than 2 months of age, viewers watching the Condor Cam can see the chick being closely cared for by her foster parents, Towich and Sulu, who are very protective over Su'nan and their nest. (www.sandiegozooglobal.org/video/condor_cam)
The young bird will continue to grow and mature over the next few months until her flight feathers grow in and she is ready to leave the nest. Animal care staff at the Safari Park hopes the chick will be able to take her place among the wild populations that have been released in California, Arizona and Mexico.
In the 1980s, there were only 22 condors left in the world. The Safari Park has now hatched over 180 chicks and released more than 80 birds into the wild. Currently, there are more than 400 condors, more than half of which are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.
The California Condor Recovery Program is implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, zoos in the U.S. and Mexico, and U.S. and Mexican government agencies. Although listed by the federal government as an endangered species in 1967, the California condor population continued to decline, reaching a critical low of less than two dozen birds. In 1982, a condor breeding program was successfully established at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Los Angeles Zoo. Two additional breeding centers are assisting with the recovery of the species, The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey and the Oregon Zoo. In addition, condors are part of an education program that allows guests at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Santa Barbara Zoo and Mexico City's Chapultepec Zoo to see North America's largest bird up close.
Those interested in helping California condors can visit endextinction.org to learn how to become a HERO for Wildlife.
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.