One of the most surprising, remarkable, and it has to be said, rather unlikely stories associated with the Hancock Museum, is that of our female Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus).
The Condor arrived in Newcastle in June 1886 as a nine-month-old nestling and was presented to the Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne, by Mr W C Tripler of Coquimbo, Chile.
She lived outside the museum in a large cage for 15 years until her death on 16 June 1911, laying one egg every year from 1902.
The bird was much loved by the museum staff and visitors. On her demise, she was honoured with an obituary written by the Museum Curator, Mr E Leonard Gill and published in the North Mail.
Today our once famous bird is still on display in the Living Planet Gallery of the Great North Museum: Hancock – you will have to search the cases to find her, but she is a big bird so quite easy to spot!
Continue reading her story here in An Andean Condor in Newcastle upon Tyne by local historian Anthony Flowers.