Release of a Juvenile Condor, Leymebamba, Chachapoyas

A young condor crash landed on its maiden flight. It had hatched in a nest on high a limestone cliff above the River Atuen just south of Leymebamba, near Chachapoyas in Northern Peru. A local farmer who’s land it had crashed on was asking people to buy it or else he would eat it. The owners of Kentitambo got the bird and built a cage.

Officials at first wanted to take the condor to a completely different area/habitat in Peru for rehabilitation. More than anything this bird needed food, rest and a quick return to its parents and so a paper battle was fought to keep the condor in the the Leymebamba area. This was important as there are many fewer condors living in the eastern forests.

By the time the permissions were given for the release, the bird had gained strength. Before the bird was put in to the cage it was given tablets to rid it of any parasites. Then the men carried the condor 550m vertical ascent to the launch site.

We had to wait for the weather to clear for almost 5 hours. Once the condor came out of the cage we realized he needed some help to stretch and exercise his wings as initially he seemed unsure of his capabilities. Then he flew.

A magic moment to see and of great importance for the ecology of the area. Now known as Valley of the Condors it is included as an option in the Archaeology and Forest Tour and the Tombs and Citadels Trek.