3 California condors released into wild from San Luis Obispo sanctuary

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Three California condors are being released Tuesday morning in the Central Coast at the Ventana Wildlife Society.

Condors almost went extinct in the 1980s but wildlife conservationists have been fighting for their survival.

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They didn't quite want to leave the nest yet. Three female condors were hesitant when their cage door opened this morning at the Ventana Wildlife society in San Simeon - but the executive director isn't concerned- calling this a soft release technique - one they have found is the most successful.

"We want the birds to comfortably and carefully come out of the pen and transition to wildlife very slowly, it's a proven technique we have used for 25 years," said Kelly Sorenson, the executive director for the Ventana Wildlife Society.

Even though this may not look like much to the casual observer-it is an emotional moment for those at the center.

"It's really exciting I am watching some of my donors get tears in their eyes as they watch," he said.

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And here is proof that the process is working- this is a picture of a condor that was spotted here in the Bay Area - near Mount Diablo. This bird was released at Pinnacle National Park- the siting here is historical.

"One of those was bird spotted in Mt. Diablo, the first time recorded in 100 years," Sorenson said, "I think over time we are going to see more at Mt. Diablo, Hamilton - now gonna see them more."

The California condor almost went extinct in the 1980, but supporters rooting for this underdog say this is all very good news for condors.



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