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California Condor Profiles and LIfe Histories
Condor #242 "In-the-Red"
Sex: Male Hatch Location & Date: San Diego Zoo, 4/20/2001 Release Date: December 12, 2002 Parents:  #44 and #45 Local Biological Siblings: None Breeding Status: Unpaired Offspring: None
In-the-Red was captured in the summer of 2007 for a routine check up and was found to have the highest lead level ever recorded in a living condor! Upon this discovery, he was immediately rushed to the Los Angeles Zoo, where he underwent intensive chelation treatment for two months. Despite his debilitating lead level and the stressful rehabilitation, he was re-released in Big Sur in the fall that same year. Luckily for him, he did not appear to drop in the hierarchy, as was expected from such a long hiatus. However, he is a bit of a rogue and we're not sure how much of it is due to a drop in IQ, which is a frequent side effect from lead poisoning. Case in point: In-the-Red does not perform the courtship display quite the same as other male condors since his close brush with death and he remains unpaired! However, he hasn't given up on finding a female and gives the courtship dance his best shot each spring!

In 2011, In-the-Red was once again treated for lead poisoning, although his lead levels were not off the charts like they had been in 2007. Many condors endure lead exposures that would cripple or kill humans. Even worse, our data shows that condors are routinely exposed to lead, making it the largest obstacle for establishing a self-sustaining condor flock. While these exposures are sub-lethal most of the time, they have accumulative effects that can become deadly over time or can cause death secondarily through some other complication that might not otherwise affect a completely healthy bird.

In-the-Red's incredible tenacity for continually trying to perpetuate his species despite his handicap is an inspiration to us and we will all be thrilled if he continues his survival streak into a lead-free future.
More photos of In-the-Red