The zoo is constructing two more simulated streams outdoors and doubling the size of its head start facility for young hellbenders.
In the middle of a dark Missouri night, hellbender #10 slowly works its way upstream, the swift, cold current pressing loose skin against its body in wrinkled waves.
Why that particular boulder made appealing hellbender habitat is a mystery that Bodinof, a University of Missouri-Columbia graduate student, would like to solve.
Not even the most ardent hellbender enthusiast would call it an attractive animal; the two-foot-long creature has inspired such nicknames as "old lasagna sides," "mud devil," "water dog," and "snot otter" for a reason.
In 2001, the Ozark hellbender was designated a candidate for Endangered Species Act protection.
A group of dedicated professionals formed the Ozark Hellbender Working Group shortly after the species became a listing candidate.
Growing interest in the species' status has spurred the establishment of biennial Hellbender Conservation Symposiums.
(Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is the largest species of salamander native to North America.
Hellbenders are naive to the dangers of predation by non-native stocked trout.
Humans do not have to seek out hellbenders in order to destroy their habitat and populations.
Mandated laws for the protection of hellbenders are ineffective in most states, but the need for change is being recognized.
Norwalk Precast Molds of Norwalk, Ohio, has designed a mold for an Eastern Hellbender