Condor at Oakland Zoo Receives Treatment for Lead Poisoning

Treatment has been given to a California condor that fell victim to lead poisoning at the Oakland Zoo. After the bird, named Ventana, suffered lead poisoning at Pinnacles National Park, its condition became very critical. Veterinarians have confirmed that the bird was tested positive for lead poisoning and taken to the Steve and Jackie Kane Condor Recovery Center on the morning of May 1.

Also, they have revealed that after the condition of the bird improves completely and it becomes lead-free, she will be sent back into the wild. The bird was hatched in Big Sur, California, on May 5, 2007 and she is the oldest living wild-raised chick in the Central California flock.

The wingspan of condors is 9 ½ feet and they weight about 20 pounds. Condors come under the category of highly endangered birds and they usually fall sick after eating the carcasses of animals killed by hunters with lead ammunition. A new law has been passed for California to ban lead ammunition, but it won't come into effect until 2019. At the Oakland Zoo, Ventana is the first condor which has received the treatment for lead poisoning.

It has been two years for the zoo having been working with the Ventana Wildlife Society and staff at the Los Angeles Zoo to provide treatments to these endangered birds. Now, only 232 of Condors are remaining in the wild, which itself indicates that how important it is to ensure prevention of Condors from threats that may push them to extinction.

"It's kind of a bittersweet thing. We are really excited to be able to help and treat these birds, but on the same side we're pretty sad that we still have to treat these birds", said Dr. Andrea Goodnight, Associate Veterinarian at the Oakland Zoo.