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California Condors

Until a new captive-breeding release program began in 1992, the last California Condor known to live in the wild was captured in 1987. It was known as "AC-9" and was captured in the foothills of Kern County. The bird was commonly known as "The Los Angeles County bird" because it was born on a cliff-side near Saugus in 1980. He was ironically also one of the first Condors tagged and tracked by California wildlife researchers. The Condor was taken to live at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The capture was considered necessary in order to protect the sole free-flying California Condor. At one time, Condors made northwestern Los Angeles County one of their habitat areas. In addition to parts of L.A. County, the Condor ranged from the southeastern portions of Monterey and San Benito counties down through parts of Fresno, Kings, Tulare, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. In 1992, after a successful captive-breeding program, Condors began being released to the wild in California. As of October 2014, 219 California Condors were living in the wild -- 131 in California. The Los Angeles Zoo houses 28 Condors in captivity.