Tusayan, AZ – 05/19/2011 – Grand Canyon Condor Encounter debuts this week here at the Visitor Center, Grand Canyon’s south rim entrance. This live bird show by nationally recognized show performer Joe Krathwohl features raptors and other live birds plus a giant condor – this is the first program of its kind to enhance the visitor experience for thousands of Grand Canyon visitors.
“Our Condor Encounter live show is the best way to discover the wild side of Grand Canyon at the Visitor Center and IMAX Theater located one mile south of the Grand Canyon National Park,” said Brent Kok, visitor center and IMAX theater director.
Starting now visitors will experience an up-close encounter with all shapes and sizes of fascinating free-flying falcons, eagles, owls and the magnificent bird with a 10-foot wingspan that gives this show its name – the Condor Encounter. The show is a newly featured area attraction that unfolds several times a day at a new outdoor amphitheater located within the Visitor Center. Visitors view these birds up close as they fly overhead while learning how the different species survive. This spectacular live show provides facts about birds of prey, conservation efforts, and how everyone can help protect these species – all in an entertaining way. Grand Canyon Condor Encounter is a limited-time engagement with shows daily starting in mid May until mid September.
Grand Canyon Condor Encounter live bird show is produced and presented by Joe Krathwohl from Birds and Beast Production. He was hired by the Visitor Center and has been working hard for the past 12 months to develop the show. It blends and balances entertainment, education and conservation all in a captivating 20-minute presentation. The show features some 12 to15 raptor and other bird species, including a magnificent condor.
“The Visitor Center is excited to offer an up-close encounter with these raptors and other birds as part of our commitment to entertain, educate and enlighten visitors from around the world about natural wonders and wildlife here at the Grand Canyon,” said Kok. “Our goal is to make sure our visitors gain a higher level of understanding and appreciation for this special place in order for them to get the most out of their vacation experience at the Grand Canyon.”
The Visitor Center and IMAX Theater has partnered with the nonprofit Peregrine Fund and proceeds help support the group’s successful, ongoing efforts at reintroduction of condors into northern Arizona’s wild canyon country.
“This is a really exciting form of interpretation, said Chris Parish, California Condor Reintroduction Project Director for The Peregrine Fund. “It’s a form of interpretation that is going to have a lasting impact on individuals. All of our work is for naught, unless the public is aware of the condors’ comeback in the wild. This effort plays an integral role in conservation.” Parish added that while federal and state land management agencies are key partners in recovery efforts and provide some funding for reintroduction efforts of the federally listed endangered California Condor, The Peregrine Fund also has been taking a lead role and raises and spends about $800,000 each year in the group’s highly successful efforts at bringing condors back into the wild.
Nature Valley® is the presenting sponsor of the Condor Encounter show at the Visitor Center. “We are proud to support this show, which provides an incredible close-up experience with nature,” said Stephanie Hu, Nature Valley brand manager. “Nature Valley is committed to supporting the enjoyment of nature and we encourage visitors to experience this unique opportunity at the Grand Canyon.