3 California condors set for release at N. Arizona's Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

VERMILION CLIFFS NATIONAL MONUMENT, AZ - Three California condors are set to be released into the wild next week at northern Arizona's Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

The Sept. 29 event will be the 17th public release of the endangered birds in Arizona since the recovery program began in 1996.

The condors are hatched and reared in captivity at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, and transported to Arizona for release.

Nearly 80 condors are in a flock that roams the Arizona-Utah border. The world's total population of endangered California condors is 405 with 226 of them in the wild in Arizona, Utah, California, and Mexico.

There were just 22 condors when a program was started to save the species from extinction.

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