Sheldon Campbell, a one-time trustee of the San Diego Zoo, closed a 1984 essay about the California condor with this:
I would like to end with a short poem written by first grade students in a California school. It was among the thousands of congratulatory messages we received after the first condor hatching:
Dear San Diego Zookeeper:
We’re happy that your condor hatched
We hope some day it will be free
We know it’s nature’s garbage man
And the Earth needs more than three.
I immediately thought of this poem when, while searching ebay.com for artifacts related to the California condor, I encountered this item for sale:
Through the years, the name “condor” has been applied to aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, motorcycles, and a variety of trucks. But there is something especially fitting about applying the condor name to a noble garbage truck.
(I will consider other vehicles named after the condor in a future post.)
Campbell, Sheldon. Restocking the wilderness with captive-bred animals: the California condor story. In Wilderness: the way ahead. Vance Martin and Mary Inglis, editors. Findhorn. 1984.