The Return of the Hellbender

The Toledo Zoo is working to re-establish America’s biggest salamander in the wild, through captive rearing and release.

Hi, Mr. Nature here–and I am a hellbender fan. You’ve gotta love a salamander that starts out looking like a little black newt that you might buy in the pet store, yet can grow to the size of your hand and forearm. In fact, it has a close relative in Japan that can grow to the size of a 12-year-old boy.

But the hellbender needs to live in cold, clear, clean, swiftly-running water, and streams like that are getting hard to find. Progress, you know! Gotta build them condos everywhere! Happily, a lot of private property owners in Ohio are getting behind the zoo’s efforts to conserve the giant salamander.

Some salamanders are gorgeous in bright colors. The hellbender is not. Some salamanders are cute. Most definitely, the hellbender is not.

What the hellbender is, is just way cool. Only God could create something as cool as this. If you find this animal ugly, maybe even a bit scary–well, it’s still way cool.

I am glad  conservationists are working to actually conserve this salamander.

If only our leaders who call themselves conservatives would actually try, at least, to conserve our culture… we might have a chance.

6 comments on “The Return of the Hellbender

  1. I know I’m weird, but anything that in any way resembles snakes or their kin just give me the willies. Like I said, I am weird. Can’t help it, always been this way.

  2. This is one fantastic creature! God is amazing!
    Does the hellbender appear in Bell Mountain? The one the old fisherman saw when he was looking for crawfish for bait?
    The Giant Salamander, relative of the hellbender, is called ‘Osanshouwo’ in Japan.

    1. I posted once, a while ago, on the Japanese giant salamander. How I’d love to see one!
      I had these critters in mind when I related the tale told by that old fisherman (see “Bell Mountain”).

  3. Not cute? No bright colors? In today’s shallow thought levels, the hellbender doesn’t seem glamorous to stand much of a chance. Even “spell check” red flags its spelling as incorrect. On “Zoo” recently the Bronx Zoo was shown trying to save the Komodo Dragon. The problem? The male is very aggressive in the sex act and even kills the female at times. Salamanders make for better pets 🙂

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