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Pinnacles National Monument's recently hatched California condor chick, parent treated for lead poisoning

May 14, 2010 |  4:34 pm

Condor A California condor chick that was the first to hatch inside a national park in more than a century has become sickened with lead poisoning.

Biologists are treating the bird and its male parent at the Los Angeles Zoo and are looking for the female parent to determine if she also needs treatment. All live in Pinnacles National Monument.

They say the chick likely became sick from eating meat contaminated with fragments of lead bullets. Researchers say the presence of lead fragments in animal carcasses is the biggest threat to the recovery of the species. There are only 91 California condors in the wild in the state.

A 2008 law banned the use of lead bullets within the 15 counties that make up the endangered species' territory.

Lead poisoning blamed for deaths of three California condors in Arizona
California condor pair produces an egg at Pinnacles National Monument

-- Associated Press

Photo: The female California condor, No. 317, watches over the egg before the condor chick hatched in April. Credit: Gavin Emmons / National Park Service

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