Bakosphere Blog

Sunday, Feb 10 2013 10:15 AM

Live condor escapes at Bakersfield game, triggers viral video

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    By YouTube

    An Andean condor escapes from its handler before a game between the Bakersfield Condors and Las Vegas Wranglers at Rabobank Arena on Feb. 8, 2013.

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By BAKOSPHERE

The Bakersfield Condors have again made national news for something unrelated to the team's play.

A video of a promotion from Friday's night's game gone awry has already been seen nearly 80,000 times this weekend, and drawn reaction from media outlets ranging from ESPN's "SportsCenter to Yahoo Sports Canada to the Los Angeles Times.

The buzz centers around a live Andean condor -- they're enormous birds of prey -- getting loose inside Rabobank Arena during and after the singing of the national anthem.

The bird first escaped from its handler and fell to the ice, where it slipped as it tried to escape. The condor's handler too slipped on the ice while trying to retrieve the bird. At that point, the condor took flight toward the team benches before heading into the locker room.

Condors broadcasters Ryan Holt and Kevin Bartl half-heartedly apologized for laughing at what was a truly bizarre scene.

The night continued downhill for the Condors, as they lost to the Las Vegas Wranglers.

This isn't the first time the Condors have made national news over the past year for something other than the team's performance.

The team earned social-media buzz before the season started when it offered Canadian pop star Justin Bieber a player contract. And around the same time the Condors angered fans and city officials in Stockton with plans for a "We're Not Bankrupt" promotion for a game against the Stockton Thunder, a not-so-subtle dig at the California city's severe financial problems.

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