Wildlife officials at the Oregon Zoo are urging people across the state to spread animal guts and entrails around their yards and gardens in order to attract a critically endangered large bird that is native to the Pacific Northwest.
The California condor was one of the original animals included on the 1973 Endangered Species Act and is classified as critically endangered.
In 1982, only 22 individuals remained in the wild and by 1987, the last condors were taken into captivity in an attempt to save the species from extinction.
Thanks to breeding programs like the Oregon Zoo’s, condor numbers now total around 450, with the majority of those flying free.
A plan is currently in the works to reintroduce the continent’s largest bird into Redwood National Park in Northern California — just a short flight by condor standards from southern Oregon, which is also part of the species’ historic range.
“If we provide them with everything they need, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t make their way up to our area as well,” said Dr. David Shepherdson, the Oregon Zoo’s deputy conservation manager.
“We’re asking people to roll out the welcome mat, as it were — only rather than an actual mat, we recommend a week-old, lead-free gutpile.”
A news release from the Zoo says the endangered California Condor hasn’t been seen flying over the Pacific Northwest for over a century, “but if Oregon residents dig down and give these birds the rotting flesh they need, that could soon change.”
They say, “…with just a little carrion, your yard or garden can provide these majestic birds with everything they need.”
Alas — this looks like a fun April Fool’s prank from the Oregon Zoo.
SO — Bravo!