QUITO – Thousands of people are gazing at an online video feed or watching in person on a screen at Guayllabamba zoo in the Ecuadorian capital so as not to miss the moment when the sixth offspring of condor couple Auki and Kawsay emerges from its shell.
If the fledging doesn’t break out by Thursday, the egg will be removed from the nest for examination to determine the status of the embryo, the Ecuador Zoological Foundation said.
At that point, if the exam finds the embryo is alive, the egg will be partially opened “for the parents to complete the process,” the foundation said.
The normal gestation period is 60-65 days and Thursday would be the 69th day, Guayllabamba director Juan Manuel Carrion told Efe.
Once it emerges, the newest addition to the family will join two siblings in isolation in preparation for releasing all three into the wild.
“As they are social birds, the best thing is to free the three siblings so they can develop better in nature,” Carrion said.
The first three offspring of dad Auki and mother Kawsay were sent to rescue centers for breeding, as the condor – Ecuador’s national symbol – is an endangered species.
People unable to visit the zoo have been able to tune in at the Web sites www.quitozoo.org
“I’m optimistic and I believe that, independent of the outcome, the fact that Ecuadorians and people around the world have connected to the Internet feed has been very positive,” Carrion said.