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Worries over wind farms cloud condor repopulation program
While members of the Mapuche, the largest Indigenous group in the area, played traditional instruments, and a group of children threw condor feathers into the air that symbolized their good wishes for the newly liberated birds, an eerie silence engulfed the mountain in Sierra Paileman in Rio Negro province as researchers opened the cages where the two specimens of the world’s largest flying bird were kept.
Huasi (meaning home in Quechua) seemed born for this moment. As soon as the cage opened, he spread his wings and took off without a moment’s hesitation, surprising researchers who are accustomed to a more trepidatious takeoff. Yastay (meaning god that is protector of birds) appeared cautious, uncertain of the wide open Patagonia skies after spending his first two years in captivity, and it took him around an hour before taking off.
The emotion in the air was palpable. People hugged while researchers sprang into action and started tracking the birds. It was a moment that so many had been working toward for months.