On Dec. 4, 2021, over 400 people logged on to Zoom to watch the nonprofit Ventana Wildlife Society release three young California condors into the wild. One of them, Iniko -- whose Nigerian name means 'born in troubled times' -- had gained a flock of fans during the pandemic. People had been watching her since she was born inside a redwood tree snag in the Big Sur Condor Sanctuary on April 25, 2020, and was cared for by her parents, Redwood Queen and Kingpin. Then, on Aug. 20, 2020, the Dolan Fire destroyed Ventana's research facilities and killed 11 condors, including Kingpin. The loss was a huge blow to the central California flock of just over 100 birds, but Iniko had survived, and thrived under her mother’s care. Then, after attacks by a male condor injured her, she spent a year at the Los Angeles Zoo, learning how to be a condor from captive-bred birds.

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