The harpy eagle, a species originally found from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, was in need of conservation help—its numbers were declining because of hunting and deforestation. The Peregrine Fund began a program to breed the birds for eventual release to their native habitat in 1989, and the San Diego Zoo joined the effort in 1991 with a breeding pair of the eagles. They produced one chick in 1992, but unfortunately it died before nine days of age. In 1994, the adult pair reproduced again, and the egg was taken to the Zoo's Avian Propagation Center for incubation and hand raising. The male chick hatched and thrived, and keepers used a harpy eagle hand puppet to feed and care for the chick, the same technique that had worked so well with California condors. This chick made avian history by being the first harpy eaglet successfully hatched and raised in a zoo in North America.