This is the moment a male condor flies free for the first time after recovering from his wounds and heads straight towards the love nest he shares with his partner.
Iguinaro is an Andean Condor who was found on the point of death in the city of El Quinche, in the Pichincha province in northern Ecuador, last April. He was lying on the ground unable to take flight.
He was transferred to the Quito Zoo where the veterinarians concluded he had a pellet lodged in his left pectoral.
The condor, aged between 30 and 50 years, spent 33 days under the care of the centre’s veterinarians and the experts from the Ecuadorian Andean Condor Foundation.
Once recovered, they decided it was time for him to return to his habitat, not before marking him and placing a satellite tracker that allows the monitoring of his location.
At the end of June, the huge bird (Vultur gryphus) was released in the Chakana reserve, also located in the province of Pichincha.
Speaking to Newsflash project coordinator at the Andean Condor Foundation Fabricio Narvaez, 39, stated it took three days for Iguinaro to travel to Zuleta, a process that took a while as he was still recovering from his injuries and needed to get used to finding his own food again.
After reaching Zuleta, Iguinaro spent eight days without moving, so the experts decided to carry out an on-site check of his condition.
That was when they realised that everything was in order, and Iguinaro was with his partner where he had taken on the role of “defending his territory” and was clearly healthy.
Narvaez said condors pair for life and mating rituals can take up to 90 days.
The Andean condor has been classified as critically endangered (CR) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and there are just 130 specimens listed in Ecuador.
Executive director and founding member of the Condor Andino Foundation Sebastian Kohn, 36, told Newsflash “we are pretty sure that the population is receding mainly from poisoning, hunting, and wild dog attacks”.
Experts are currently monitoring Iguinaro and his partner closely, hoping soon to discover a new specimen to add to the family.
Iguinaro was first spotted in 2016 together with his partner after they settled in the Zuleta area, located 60 kilometres (37 miles) away from the Chakana reserve.
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Story By: Amanda Morales, Sub-Editor: Alex Cope, Agency: Newsflash
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