According to the Embera Indians of Colombia's Choco forest this is how mankind multiplied: for some time the first men, called Jiti, had seen condors (Vultur gryphus) 'from the land above', with bodies like women, come to a river, take off their condor's clothing and bathe, before getting dressed and flying away. One day the Jiti stole the clothing of one of the condors so she couldn't return home. This bird stayed on earth and bore many children with the Jiti, eventually populating the world. That is how important this 'messenger of the sun' - one of the largest flying birds - is to the people of the Andes. Nevertheless, it is shot and poisoned as a pest (it takes newborn livestock as well as sick animals and carrion) and its numbers are in serious decline.

Gallery Edit

ARKive photos and videos of the Andean condor

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