Officials want to know how 2 California condors died

Endangered Condors Threatened With Lead Poisoning

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A rare and endangered California condor flies near Marble Gorge, east of Grand Canyon National Park, March 23, 2007 west of Page, Arizona.

State wildlife officials are trying to learn how two endangered California Condors died after their bodies were found last month in water tanks used by firefighters in California's Central Valley.

The Los Angeles Times reports the condors were discovered last month in separate water tanks in the Tehachapi area, about 100 miles north ofLos Angeles.

Both have been sent to a forensics lab in Oregon to try to determine how they died.

Because the condors number only about 100 in the wild, losing two in the same month is significant.

The first bird was discovered Oct. 2 after a tracking transmitter that wildlife authorities had attached to it quit working.

Kern County firefighters taking part in an earthquake preparedness drill found the second one on Oct. 17.

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