The California Condor, Iniko (1031), is the daughter of 190 Redwood Queen and 167 Kingpin. She hatched on 25 April 2020 in the large Redwood Tree in the Big Sur area of California. Iniko was caught as a nestling in the tree during the Dolan Fire that ravaged the area from late August through December of 2020.
Iniko means ‘Born in Troubled Times’. The individuals who named this amazing baby could not have predicted how horrific 2020 was to be.
The streaming cam to the nest was lost and it was feared that Iniko had perished in the fire. To everyone’s surprise, she was alive! 190 Redwood Queen also survived the fire but, sadly, 167 Kingpin is presumed to have died.
This video by Lady Hawk shows the rescue of Iniko after she had been knocked out of the tree by an intruding condor. Her leg was injured and she will be taken into care at the Los Angeles Zoo.
This is what Iniko looks like on 7 October 2021.
Here is a video clip showing Iniko interacting with Eva, her pen mate.
Now for the really great news. Tomorrow, Iniko will be transferred from the Los Angeles Zoo to San Simeon. On her arrival, she will receive her official wing tag. The tag will be orange with the number 31 on it painted in black. This is because Iniko’s number is 1031. As a result, she has come to be known as the Halloween Queen. On Wednesday, 13 October – that is just two days away – Iniko will be placed in the pre-release pen at San Simeon along with nine other condors. You can watch her and the others on the streaming cam at San Simeon. Here is the link:
On the 4th of December, Iniko will be released back into the wild into the Big Sur Flock where she hatched. The Ventana Wildlife Society live stream the event. I will provide the details as the release date approaches.
Here is a wonderful short video on Baby Iniko’s life:
It is so easy to become overwhelmed by the headlines of doom and gloom in the news. Sadly, ‘bad’ reports often garner more viewers than positive ones. The return of Iniko to her Condor Flock is one of those feel good stories that should stay with you. There are people, around the world, working hard every day to help wildlife. I cannot even imagine what it was like for those that rescued this extremely rare bird from the burnt forest floor. They must have been overcome with joy. Tune in to watch when she is released!
Thank you for joining me. This is simply a joyous moment. Take care. See you soon!
Thank you to the Ventana Wildlife Society and the Los Angeles Zoo for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots.
Featured Image: Iniko in Redwood Tree taken by S. Herrera for the Ventana Wildlife Society.