Exciting times with the Wild Animal Park’s condor conservation program! This year’s chicks are getting bigger and stronger, and the people doing the toughest work now are those rebuilding our burnt down facility. It took some time to get all the insurance issues and clean up taken care of, but since the construction started it has been going a thousand miles per hour.
The two-story central structure of the facility, which includes the keeper service area, 4 nest boxes, and 4 chick-rearing pens, is now plumbed, wired, and ready for insulation and dry wall. The new and improved pools in our 4 flight pens are completed and ready to be filled with water. All of this is currently engulfed in web-like scaffolding that will be used to install support poles and hang the wire for the outside flight pens.
The rebuilding of this facility has been very exciting for us keepers from the beginning. We were able to provide input on some of the details of the building; many of which were just simple things that we wished had been different in the old one. Some of these improvements include a more natural building exterior, and drains in the chick pens and nest boxes to make cleaning easier. The construction crew has welcomed our input every step of the way to ensure that the details of the facility are built to be the most functional for their daily use.
The goal, set soon after the Witch Creek Fire destroyed our old condor facility, was to have the new facility ready to house condors by the beginning of October 2008. This timing is crucial because courtship displays are usually first observed towards the end of October. As the weeks go by and construction continues, it appears that our goal will be reached.
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