Watch: Condor chick Iniko released back into the wild

After being cared for at the Los Angeles Zoo, the California condor chick known as Iniko is transported to Big Sur to be returned to the wild. Credit: Ventana Wildlife Society via YouTube

A California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) that survived the devastating Dolan Fire as a chick has been released back into the wild after being cared for in captivity.

Readers of The Wildlife Professional may remember the chick nicknamed Iniko from the cover story in the July/August 2021 issue. The Dolan Fire killed five free-flying condors, including one known as Kingpin, which fled its nest. Kingpin’s offspring Iniko remained in the tree cavity, where a webcam captured the chick’s response to the approaching flames. Then the camera went dead. Iniko survived the blaze, but it later was taken to the Los Angeles Zoo to treat injuries caused by an unmated male that attacked the nest in Kingpin’s absence.

On Dec. 4, the Ventana Wildlife Society returned Iniko and five other young condors to the wild in Big Sur.

Read more here, and watch a video and Zoom chat on the release below.