MDC announces zoo-reared eastern hellbender found with clutch of eggs on Gasconade River

Roughly a year after a zoo-reared Ozark hellbender successfully fathered a clutch of eggs in the wild, an eastern hellbender has followed suit. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently confirmed the first eastern hellbender raised in human care at the St. Louis Zoo has reproduced in the wild on the Gasconade River.

The news shows MDC’s partnership with the St. Louis Zoo to recover hellbender populations is creating a bright future for the endangered Ozark and eastern hellbender in Missouri.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to confirm this news about the eastern hellbender,” said Missouri State Herpetologist Jeff Briggler. 

Missouri State Herpetologist Jeff Briggler holds the first zoo-reared eastern hellbender to reproduce in Missouri.

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