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National Aviary's Andean Condor chick gets new name, fledges the nest

KDKA-TV Afternoon Forecast (9/8)
KDKA-TV Afternoon Forecast (9/8) 03:19

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It was a big day for the National Aviary's Andean Condor chick. The aviary revealed her name, and she fledged the nest for the first time. 

The chick was named Marijo by Rich Caruso and John and Mary Ann DiDonato, three supporters of the aviary. It combines the first letters of each of their names. 

The aviary revealed the name of their new Andean Condor, and she fledged for the first time on Sept. 8, 2022.  (Photo: National Aviary)

Up until Thursday, Marijo had been nestled in a nest cave in the cliffside of the Condor Court habitat. But with her new name, she felt ready to make her grand debut.  

The aviary said Marijo is one of just three Andean Condors to hatch in a North American zoo in the last year. 

The critically endangered bird faces several pressures in the wild that have led to population declines in recent decades and the aviary said they only produce one egg every 12 to 18 months, adding to the conservation challenges. 

In just a few months, the aviary said Marijo will be as big as her mother Lianni. 

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