Meet Igor, the Last CA Condor to be Taken out of the Wild

A California condor in the recovery program

A California condor in the recovery program

One of our Condor Cam viewers asked for information about Igor, one of the original condors in the California Condor Recovery Program. As I recall, Igor was the “house name” for a condor known officially as AC-9. Back in the mid- to late 80s, the field crews who were tracking and photographing the last remaining wild condors gave him that name. Igor became famous as the last California condor to be taken out of the wild, on April 19, 1987.

Igor was brought to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and stayed here until late 1988, when he was sent to the Los Angeles Zoo. A few years later, he was released to the wild and is still there today, living in and around the Hopper National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County.

As a fun sidelight item, his parents were the same as Sisquoc’s, the male condor you can watch daily on our popular Condor Cam. Sisquoc was the first California condor to hatch in captivity from an egg taken from a wild nest in 1983.

Another tidbit: after there were no breeding pairs left in the wild in 1986, and no hope of reproduction, Igor paired with an older female condor (AC-8) who had lost her mate. They ended up producing a fertile egg that was brought to the Safari Park. That chick hatched and was named Nojoqui, who is still here today and has an egg due to hatch around March 4!

Don Sterner is an animal care manager at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

11 Responses to Meet Igor, the Last CA Condor to be Taken out of the Wild

  1. Very interesting. Thanks.

  2. Thanks for telling about the amazing Igor. His contribution to the survival of California Condors is wonderful.

  3. Many thanks for this information, which has prompted me to look at the online studbook library which I’ve found hugely interesting. I don’t know if this is the place to ask, but I am wondering if Sisquoc is doing the majority of the incubating: only rarely, when I look at Condor Cam, do I see Shatash – or is it simply coincidence, as my normal viewing times from the UK tend to be between 3 and 9 pm GMT?

    Moderator’s note: Glad to hear you’re enjoying our Condor Cam, Niall! Our condor parents do take turns, so don’t feel too sorry for Sisquoc.

  4. Hello from Kansas!
    I was wondering any movement in the egg? I’m not a very patient person! Can’t wait! Thank you.

    Moderator’s note: We expect the egg to hatch in about two weeks. Patience, Gayle!

  5. Hi, I was wondering what is going on with Saticoy-I followed his birth to his leaving.

  6. Hi Karen again. Why is it that u that the real egg and place a fake one in its place? Can’t the parents incubate “their” egg? Thanks for any info

    Moderator’s note: Be sure to read Condor Egg is Fertile! for a great explanation, Karen.

  7. Thanks for the info about the egg. Does anyone know how and where Saticoy is? Was he released?
    Thanks for any info on him.

    Moderator’s note: Saticoy is scheduled to be transferred to Hopper Mountain sometime in early April. We are so proud of him!

    • I’m so happy to read about Saticoy’s upcoming release, please let us know when it happens and how it goes, pictures would be a plus too, as he is still in our thoughts.

  8. Any signs of “pipping” yet? :)

  9. I admire people like you, being dedicated in preserving species which were for sure on the brink of extention, if it werent for all of your efford, we wouldnt have this beautiful Condor cam.
    Thank you all again for giving the Condors a chance again.

    I am soo happy for the little chick adding to its Family of Condors

    Sigistardust Richmond/Vancouver B.C.