Featured mission: Saving a California condor
California condor 171, 'Traveler' needed emergency transport from the Oakland Zoo to the LA Zoo due to lead toxicosis. Photo by Mike Clark/LA Zoo
In early July, LightHawk received an urgent request from the Los Angeles zoo to transport a sick California condor. The wild matriarch of the Central Big Sur Coast, condor 171, was suffering from lead toxicosis. At 25 years old, she was in dire need of critical care and surgery to remove lead fragments from her stomach.
The bird was at the Oakland Zoo and needed to be
transported to the LA Zoo who is experienced in this kind of procedure. Without the surgery and treatment, she would not survive and the world would lose an endangered California condor. With fewer than 600 condors in existence, each one is important.
Pilot Mark, Oakland Zoo Vet Tech Monica, and the condor crate. Photo by Monica Fox/Oakland Zoo.
LightHawk volunteer pilot Mark Dedon answered the call for emergency transport. Together with Oakland Zoo's Monica Fox, Mark loaded the condor's crate into his Cessna 182 and flew the bird south to be met by staff from the Los Angeles zoo. From there, the condor was rushed in for surgery and treatment to address the lead in her system.
After the flight, Monica said,
"This flight was great, as was the pilot Mark Dedon. I learned so many new things about flying and little planes, it was truly an amazing, eye-opening experience. Mark was an excellent pilot who was also very friendly and informative. Having LightHawk as an option to transport condors (ill or healthy) is such an amazing resource for the CA Condor Recovery Program and all of us are so thankful for this service. Thank you for everything that you do!"
X-Ray shows lead within California condor 171. Photo by Mike Clark/LA Zoo
Fortunately, condor 171 survived thanks to the surgery and treatment received at the LA Zoo. They were able to remove the lead from her system and her bloodstream and she made a full recovery to be released back into the wild.
LA Zoo's Mike Clark commented, "Lighthawk has done it again! We made this request last minute because of the critical nature of the lead poisoned
condor. The bird was at the new location less than 24 hours later! We could not have done this without such an understanding, helpful and capable person like Christine at Lighthawk and of course our volunteer pilot Mark Dedon. We know that if Lighthawk CAN help us then they WILL help us."
Thanks to LightHawk volunteer pilot Mark Dedon and all LightHawk supporters for making flights like this one possible.
Pilot Mark and his plane. Photo by Monica Fox/Oakland Zoo
Register for AMFI today - Hotel discount deadline Sept. 1.
Sept. 23-25 - Washington, DC
LightHawk's Annual Meeting and Fly-In is set for September 23-25 at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Join us for presentations from aviators and conservation experts. Then enjoy a fabulous dinner at the museum featuring keynote speaker Zora Rutherford, the youngest woman to fly around the world solo.
September 23-25, 2022
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
EARLY BIRD TICKET PRICES
All Weekend - $250
All Day Saturday - $150
Saturday Dinner Only - $100
LightHawk Photo of the Month
Photo by Chris Boyer
LightHawk volunteer pilot Chris Boyer captured this photo of his plane at Henry's Lake Airport (U53) on a flight to pick up renowned conservation photographer and longtime LightHawk partner, Jon Waterman. Jon is working on a National Geographic book Atlas of American Wilds and a film about wilderness, to be released in 2023,
to celebrate the 2024 60th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Chris has flown a number of photographers for LightHawk over the years and shared this amazing photo with us.
Subscribe to LightHawk's YouTube channel
Have you subscribed to LightHawk's YouTube channel? We would like to grow this outlet in the future but we need your help! We need a minimum of 100 subscribers to customize our YouTube address. Once we are able to customize the address, it will be easier for others to find it. As the channel grows, we hope to create more content highlighting the work of our volunteer pilots and conservation partners. Please take a moment to subscribe to the LightHawk YouTube channel at the link below.
Thank you LightHawk supporters! For those of you who are on social media, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to see updates more often. Thanks for reading and fly safe!
Did you receive this newsletter by someone forwarding it to you? Subscribe!