State Trying To Increase Population Of Hellbender Salamanders

Dec 3, 2013

The state is trying to bring back the population of North America's largest amphibian. The hellbender salamander lives in streams hard hit by water pollution in the 1970s.

John Navarro with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources tells Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler the hellbender performs an important service.

Navarro says since older hellbenders need more space, inmates at the Marion Correctional Institution have offered to help care for them. When the animals reach two years old, they will be moved to the prison. Navarro says the process to rebuild the population could take a decade to complete.