Chile: 20 condors poisoned with insecticide; 2 die (Update)

August 12, 2013 by Luis Andres Henao
In this Sept. 12, 2006 file photo, an Andean condor gets ready to fly away after being released by Chilean veterinarians who cured it after finding it wounded by poachers in Farellones, in the foothills of the Andes just outside of Santiago, Chile. Twenty condors were apparently poisoned with insecticide that has already killed two of the giant birds, veterinarian Eric Savard said Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Santiago Llanquin, File)

Twenty condors were apparently poisoned with insecticide that has already killed two of the giant birds in the Chilean Andes cordillera, a veterinarian said Monday.

Condors have wingspans of up to 10 feet (3 meters) and can ride rising air currents for hours without stopping. But on Sunday they began crashing into the rocks high in the mountains near a hydroelectric plant.

Chilean officials and volunteers rescued 17 that were foaming from the beak and were too frail to fly. Another sick condor and two dead ones were found Monday. They were all taken to a veterinary clinic in the city of Los Andes, some 40 miles (70 kilometers) east of the capital, Santiago.

"The hypothesis is that they suffered organophosphate poisoning after they were exposed to insecticides used for agriculture," veterinarian Eric Savard, who has been treating them, told The Associated Press.

The 18 survivors are recovering with an antidote, antibiotics and saline solution, Savard said. They will remain under intensive care for 10 days.

The Andean condor is one of the largest flying birds in the world. Biologists estimate only a few thousand are in the wild.

Explore further: California condors dying of lead poisoning

Related Stories

Condor lead poisoning persists, impeding recovery

June 25, 2012

The California condor is chronically endangered by lead exposure from ammunition and requires ongoing human intervention for population stability and growth, according to a new study led by the University of California, Santa ...

More Grand Canyon condors die of lead poisoning

April 17, 2013

Lead ammunition continues to take a deadly toll on endangered California condors that live in and around the Grand Canyon. Seven of the 80 wild condors in Arizona and Utah have died since December; three of those deaths have ...

Recommended for you

4 million years at Africa's salad bar

August 3, 2015

As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according ...

A look at living cells down to individual molecules

August 3, 2015

EPFL scientists have been able to produce footage of the evolution of living cells at a nanoscale resolution by combining atomic force microscopy and an a super resolution optical imaging system that follows molecules that ...

New lizard named after Sir David Attenborough

August 3, 2015

A research team led by Dr Martin Whiting from the Department of Biological Sciences recently discovered a beautifully coloured new species of flat lizard, which they have named Platysaurus attenboroughi, after Sir David Attenborough.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.