(135 words) I simply cannot understand how someone could read the words ‘one of the world’s largest birds’ without thinking, ‘Hmm, I wonder how big that is?’ or ‘its population plummeted in the 20th century’ without asking, ‘How low did it go?’ A quick look on Google reveals a most dramatic tale, which is not even hinted at in this story. In addition, the phrase in the intro ‘went nearly extinct’ is not recognisable as English, the word condor appears eight times, the picture is no more than a coloured blob, and the heading is a short version of the intro.

Here is the story the i could not be bothered to tell you:

Threatened condor soars above the US again

Three decades after it reached the brink of extinction, the mighty California condor is making a comeback.

The largest flying bird in America, with a wingspan of nine and a half feet (nearly three metres), once patrolled the skies from Mexico to British Columbia, but its population plummeted in the 20th century as a result of hunting, habitat destruction and lead poisoning from shot which killed the carrion on which it feeds.

By 1987 there were only 22 left, and all were taken into captivity to start a breeding programme. There are now roughly 450, about 270 of which live wild in California, Arizona, Utah and Mexico. There are plans to release more on the California-Oregon border.

The success of the programme is attributed partly to reduced use of lead shot near condor feeding grounds. (130 words)

I am baffled by many things: atoms, for example, and moments of force. The greatest mystery, however, is what makes someone with zero curiosity and zero feeling for words say, ‘Yes! Journalism is the job for me!’


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