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PETA critical of condor escape at hockey game

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. >> People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on the minor league Bakersfield Condors hockey team to stop displaying live condors at its games.

The animal welfare group issued a statement Tuesday after a game last week when an Andean condor escaped from a handler and slid on the ice as the national anthem played.

Team officials said Tuesday the rare bird of prey —with a wingspan of several feet — was part of a promotional appearance, but does not serve as the mascot for the team.

During its escape attempt on Friday, the bird slid across center ice before flying toward the Condors’ team bench, prompting several players to duck for cover.

PETA told the team in a letter that screaming crowds are frightening for animals, even ones raised in captivity.

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