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National Aviary welcomes new male Andean condor as potential mate

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A new male Andean condor has arrived at the National Aviary. 

The aviary announced the arrival of Bud, who has been living behind the scenes for several months, on Thursday. The hope is that the 43-year-old male will become a mate for the aviary's adult female Andean condor, Lianni.

After arriving at the aviary from the Dallas Zoo, Bud spent some time acclimating to his new space, and now he shares a habitat in Condor Court with Lianni. A relationship between the two is developing, the aviary says. 

The aviary calls the pairing of Lianni and Bud a spark of hope for the conservation of Andean condors, which are increasingly declining in the wild. The aviary says the species is listed as vulnerable throughout its range in South America and is critically endangered in Ecuador. 

Lianni, who turns 40 in April, has been doing her part to help her species. Three of her hatchlings have been released into their native range within Colombia and Venezuela. In 2022, she produced one of two of the only Andean condor eggs to hatch in North American zoos. That hatchling, Marijo, lives in Condor Court with her friend Illimani.

The National Aviary helps conservation by participating in the Association of Zoo and Aquarium's Species Survival Plan for Andean condors.

"Andean Condors are one of the world's largest flying birds but their numbers in the wild are declining. Species Survival Plans ensure that the entire Andean Condor population continues to thrive and that they are genetically diverse for their long-term future," said Kurt Hundgen, the senior director of animal care and conservation programs for the National Aviary. 

"Lianni and Bud's bonding process is still in the developmental phase but we have seen strong signs that they are currently acclimating well with one another. As the Andean Condor breeding season typically begins in early spring, we remain hopeful this pair will potentially raise a chick to boost their population within the next few years."  

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