Condor Rehab Program
About Condor Rehab
The Condor Rehab program is something that we have been working on for a number of years. Our foundation is trying to bring back condors into the United States. By 1982 there were only 22 Condors left alive. In 1992 we began reintroducing condors in California. By now the current condor population is at 127. We are always increasing efforts in order to save one of the greatest birds man-kind has ever seen.
Our goal has been our top priority for a number of years. We are trying to get to the point where condors no longer need humans to survive. In order to achieve this goal the condors need to do a number of things. They should be able to reproduce when the time is right. They also need to find their own food. We have been supplying them with different meats for years. Lastly, condors need to defend themselves from other predators. Our goal is ambitious but we know it can be achieved.
Rick Walker has been the root of this program. He came up with the idea and has successfully followed through with it. Rick is only around sixteen years old. His background has been shaky and difficult. His mother and father were never known to Rick. His grandmother took care of him until she died when he was just ten years old.On page 45 of The Maze it says, "He has never known either of his parents. He was raised by his grandmother, who died when he was ten, leaving him an orphan,completely alone in the world." After that, Rick has been in a large number of foster homes. He met up with a man named Lon who was trying to bring condors back. This inspired Rick and led him to begin Condor Rehab.
The California Condors
The California condor is one of the most unique and extraordinary birds humans have ever seen. The condor is the largest bird in North America. It's wing span is a whopping nine and a half feet. The majority of the body is a dark black. However, the color of the head has been seen from anything from white to purple. Because condors are a type of vulture they prefer to eat dead animal carcass. For example deer,cattle, and sheep. The condors have lived in rocky and sometimes forested regions. Most of them are sighted in large open canyons. The flying ability of the bird is most probably what makes this vulture stand out from the pack. It can soar to 15,000 feet and can fly 150 miles in one day. The California condor is truly a great vulture.
Inspiration: Why is the condor so important to Rick?
While Rick was with Lon he learned to love condors. Lon would spend his entire day looking after the condors. It was their top priority. Whenever, a condor went missing they would nearly risk their life to bring it to safety. When one of the condors died there was sadness everywhere. Rick was in tears. Rick's emotion is shown in The Maze:"Rick couldn't help himself. Tears were streaming down his face. He realized he was sobbing out loud...All the hopelessness in his life seemed to be welling up and spilling over. Life really was unfair, rank with malice and viciousness."(143) Rick has uncontrollable love for these birds and that is one of the key reasons he began Condor Rehab.
Inspiration: How did Condors inspire Rick?
Condors seemed to have brought a huge change in Rick's life. After Rick met Lon and the condors he feels as if he is no longer in a "maze". He now knows what he is doing in his life and is on the right track. Rick is explaining his story to the judge,"Yes,sir. I was only trying to survive,and I kept running into dead ends. But I don't feel like that anymore, thanks to this man... I'm out of that maze now,sir.I'm free to make my own decisions." Meeting Lon which led to meeting condors has helped Rick enormously. Without the condors, Rick would be living a hard life.
Inspiration: How did condors influence Rick?
Condors have made a huge difference in Rick's life. He was on a steady negative path before he met Lon and the condors. After that, things have taken on a positive turn. Without the condors, it's hard to imagine what would to Rick. He could have run into more criminal activity. Thankfully, he ran into condors. As he says himself,"I'm free to make something of myself."(225)
Inspiration: Why did Rick begin condor rehab?
After seeing the greatness of the animals Rick was truly amazed. He knew at that moment that he needed to help these birds. So he began condor rehab as a way to start saving condors and raising their population. It is a way to give back to the difference it made in his life. The condor population was at a pitiful amount. As Lon said ,"also the most endangered."(60) This was something Rick had to do.
Call To Action
To help condors you can do a number of things:
- Donate to the Condor Rehab foundation
- Raise awareness about the low population of condors
- Make sure you recycle or throw out all of your waste. Condors die due to ingestion of waste
- Report poaching when seen
- Drive safely
- Make a presentation or raise awareness in any way you can