The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association announced Tuesday its fundraising campaign to name a hatched condor raised $31,076 and the condor will be called Cali if female or Cal if male.
Zoo officials launched the campaign on Dec. 9 with the goal of raising $25,000. They called the hatching of the bird known as LA1720 a “miracle.” For any donated amount, people were able to select from four potential names for the hatchling.
Individual donations ranged from $1 to $1,000.
“We are thrilled by the outpouring of support that stretched from coast to coast,” said Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association President Tom Jacobson. “The money raised will help support the reintroduction of the California condor to its ancestral skies, and the enthusiasm we have witnessed through small donor-funded campaigns like this tells us that, even during time of tremendous uncertainty, conservation of wildlife is still a high priority.”
Zoo officials said donations will support the program’s efforts, which include breeding, preparing condors for release into the wild, providing medical treatment for sick and injured birds, performing monitoring and interventions in the field, and training and mentoring staff from partner agencies and institutions.
Cali/Cal will remain at the Los Angeles Zoo until reaching maturity, then will be placed in an area where it will best contribute to the species’ genetic diversity. The zoo has assisted the condor’s population rebuilding. There are now over 520 condors in the world, with more than half living in the wild, compared to just 22 individual condors in the 1980s.
Cali/Cal’s survival was documented through photos and videos by the L.A. Zoo’s Conservation Ambassador LouAnne Brickhouse. They can be seen on @TheDailyJames on Instagram.
“This is the first time the L.A. Zoo has allowed real-time behind-the-scenes access and documentation of the condor team’s vital work, and we see it galvanized legions of fans and followers to contribute to the naming of this hatchling,” Los Angeles Zoo CEO and Zoo Director Denise Verret said. “It’s inspiring to see their hard work come from behind closed doors to public view so our supporters better understand the delicate, and often harrowing, work that goes into conservation and captive breeding.”
Each donor will be recognized on the zoo’s website with additional benefits depending on the amount of the donation.
All donations benefit the California Condor Recovery Program and are tax deductible.