Pinnacles condor dies of lead poisoning.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
One of the oldest condors released in Pinnacles National Monument died at Los Angeles Zoo May 11, according to an Associated Press report.
Ventana Wildlife Society biologists found Condor 286 in early March suffering from lead poisoning, just as he was about to begin breeding. They transferred him to L.A. Zoo for treatment, where it was discovered he had also been hit 15 times with shotgun pellets.
Three weeks later, VWS biologists found another endangered California condor gunshot and lead-poisoned. Condor 375, a juvenile female, was successfully treated at the zoo and returned to the wild early this month.
Condor 286, on the other hand, got progressively weaker and dropped to half his initial body weight. He ultimately succombed to lead poisoning from eating wild game killed with lead bullets.
State and private investigators are still offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to the people responsible for the shootings.