Biologists have replaced an artificial California condor egg in the nest of birds living in the wild with an egg produced in captivity.
The real egg, produced at the Los Angeles Zoo and placed in the wild this week, is expected to hatch soon.
The birds in Los Padres National Forest had been nesting on the artificial egg for about three weeks. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists had replaced their natural egg with the artificial one because the birds were not nesting properly.
The egg removed from the forest nest in Santa Barbara County hatched in captivity this weekend, and the hatchling is being raised by captive birds who have taken it as their own, officials said. It had been the first whole egg found in the wild since the captive breeding program began about 15 years ago.