Orphaned California Condor Chick Cuddles a Stuffed Animal After Losing Mom to Avian Influenza

As avian flu continues to rise across the country, stories of hope are rising to the surface, too. For example, one motherless California condor chick is thriving under the care of veterinarians and a plush mother bird. Still, even more good news has come forward: The Sacramento Bee reports that this orphaned chick is getting ready to meet his foster parents!

Even though this baby bird‘s family had a rough few weeks, the hatchling is on his best path toward returning to the wild. He hasn’t been out of captivity since before he hatched, but if all goes well, he’ll be a happy, healthy adult. Until then, his friends at the The Peregrine Fund are doing all they can to help.

OMG–he’s so tiny! He looks so sweet all cuddled up in the blankets and plush of his temporary mom, but we can’t imagine how sweet he’ll be when he’s finally with his foster parents.

The debacle began in Arizona on March 28, when the un-hatched baby’s mother first showed signs of sickness. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the mother from the family’s nest, where Dad continued to incubate the egg. Sadly, the new mom tested positive for the avian flu and passed away shortly after.

In order to give the soon-to-be hatchling the best chance at life, officials made the decision to remove the egg from its nest. That’s what led this little one to a life in a sanctuary where he’s thriving under the watchful, plush eye of his ‘Mom.’

Thankfully, the bird experts at The Peregrine Fund have found suitable foster parents for the baby bird. The family will soon be united, and we’ll be cheering for them every step of the way.

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