Over 1,000 hellbenders have been released from the Saint Louis Zoo into the Ozark Rivers. The hellbenders have been released back to their native habitat. They were released by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
From 2008, over 8,600 hellbenders have been reintroduced to the wild in Missouri but they have not been able to get hellbenders really reintroduced this period as a result of Coronavirus. The group of scientists from the Missouri Department of Conservation and from the zoo ensured that there was maximum safety and protection for all the scientists while they provide great care for the hellbenders.
One thing that happened was the reduction of the crew that released the hellbenders and they ensured that their numbers were not more than 2 individuals in each boat. From information gathered, the first most accomplished zoo breeding of Ozark hellbenders took place at the zoo sometime around 2011 and it was the first across the globe. One interesting thing is that there has been a hatchling of not less than 5,531 hellbenders by the zoo.
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The moment the hellbenders are close to 2 to 8 years, it was revealed that they could be released back to their natural rivers. The hellbenders are not just released; the Missouri Department of Conservation biologists always ensure they study the success and growth of the released hellbenders.
Hellbenders are the biggest marine salamanders across North America. It is also interesting to note that the only state that has both the Ozark hellbenders as well as the eastern hellbenders in Missouri.
One striking thing is that over the last 40 years, the Ozark hellbenders as well as the eastern hellbenders have drastically reduced by 70% in Missouri. Lauren Augustine revealed that despite the breakout of the pandemic, there was still some conservation plan for the hellbenders. Now, over 1,000 hellbenders have been released from the Saint Louis Zoo into their natural habitat.
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