R.I.P. Thaao, believed to be the oldest Andean condor in captivity
A Connecticut zoo says an Andean condor believed to be the oldest one living in captivity has died at nearly 80 years old.
Thaao (TAY'-oh) arrived at the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport in 1993 after living most of his life at the Pittsburgh Zoo. He was the only endangered animal at the zoo to be born in the wild.
A necropsy proved inconclusive.
The zoo says an Andean condor lives to about 50. The zoo believes Thaao was one of the original animals to have been tracked using a breed registry, a list of the known individual animals in a breed.
Biologists estimate that there are only a few thousand Andean condors in the wild.
Zoo director Gregg Dancho says Thaao was an ambassador for conservation and the zoo.
-- Associated Press
Photo: Thaao in a 2009 photo. Credit: Shannon Calvert / Associated Press