In her lifetime, condor #526 had to be treated several times for elevated levels of lead in her blood, the leading cause of death of California condors. Lead poisoning happens when the birds ingest carcasses that have been shot dead with lead ammunition — a totally preventable but extremely prevalent problem for many kinds of wild birds, including iconic bald eagles.
Condor #526's father, #21, was essential in the recovery of the species. He was a "key bird in the captive breeding program before his release back into the wild in 2002," according to LPFW. Both condor #526's father and her mother, #192, have been lost: #192 was found dead in 2015 due to lead poisoning, and #21 has also gone missing and is presumed dead of the same thing.
"The tragedy that has afflicted this family of condors demonstrates just how tough it is for endangered condors to survive in the wild," LPFW wrote.