Raptors wow crowds at live bird show

Andean condors and birds of prey fly free daily at National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX Theater in Tusayan

Photo/Joel Kramer<br>
Joe Krathwohl, director of the World Center for Exotic Birds in Las Vegas, displays an Andean condor during a recent Condor Encounter bird show at the National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX Theater in Tusayan.

Photo/Joel Kramer<br> Joe Krathwohl, director of the World Center for Exotic Birds in Las Vegas, displays an Andean condor during a recent Condor Encounter bird show at the National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX Theater in Tusayan.

TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Visitors to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park have a new attraction to add to their itinerary. Grand Canyon Condor Encounter debuted last week in Tusayan at the Canyon's South Rim entrance.

This live bird show offered at the National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX Theater located one mile south of the Grand Canyon National Park is the first program of its kind in the area. Hosted by nationally recognized show performer Joe Krathwohl, director of the World Center for Exotic Birds in Las Vegas, the program features raptors and other live birds plus a giant condor.

Brent Kok, National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX Theater director, said the presentation is an excellent addition to the visitor experience.

"Our Condor Encounter live show is the best way to discover the wild side of Grand Canyon," he said.

Visitors will experience an up-close encounter with all shapes and sizes of fascinating free-flying falcons, eagles and owls. The show's main attraction, the Andean condor with its 10-foot wingspan, gives this show its name - the Condor Encounter.

The show unfolds several times a day at a new outdoor amphitheater located within the National Geographic Visitor Center. Visitors can view the 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 details how the public can help protect these species - all in an entertaining way. Grand Canyon Condor Encounter is a limited-time engagement with shows daily through mid-September.

The Grand Canyon Condor Encounter live bird show is produced and presented by Joe Krathwohl with Birds and Beast Production. Krathwohl has been developing the show for the past 12 month. 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.

"The National Geographic 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," Kok said. "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 National Geographic Visitor Center and IMAX Theater has partnered with the nonprofit Peregrine Fund with proceeds helping to support the group's successful, ongoing efforts to reintroduce 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 National Geographic Visitor Center.

Stephanie Hu, Nature Valley brand manager, said the company is proud to support the show, providing an incredible close-up experience with nature.

"Nature Valley is committed to supporting the enjoyment of nature and we encourage visitors to experience this unique opportunity at the Grand Canyon," Hu said.

For Condor Encounter ticket price information, show times and more about the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and IMAX Theater visit www.explorethecanyon.com.

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