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Zoo sending 600 spray toads to Africa

Zoo sending 600 spray toads to Africa

May 4, 2017 – Toledo, Ohio. As part of an international conservation initiative, Toledo Zoo recently sent 600 captive-reared Kihansi spray toads to Tanzania to be released into their native habitat.The toads were driven from Toledo to Chicago where they were put on a plane and flown to Dar es Salaam,Tanzania, with stops in Amsterdam and Kilimanjaro.

According to after action reports, all toads arrived in great condition after 40+ hours of travel. Soon the toads will be driven to the Gorge and hand-carried by porters to the research station near the waterfall. At the research station, some of the toads will be marked for recapture and data collection and all will then be released into the spray.

The Kihansi spray toad (KST) is a tiny, goldenrod colored amphibian that is native only to the spray zone (where the falling water meets the rocks) of the waterfall in the Kihansi Gorge in Tanzania. With a complex past worthy of its own documentary, Kihansi spray toads went extinct in the wild between 2003 and 2004, as the developing country looked for ways to spread electricity to its people. The building of hydroelectric facilities on the Kihansi River drastically reduced the water flow of the KST’s native waterfall, causing the entire toad population, some 30,000, to congregate in the extremely small remaining spray zone. At this point, conservationists from across the globe took notice and action to create an assurance population. After some trials and tribulations, Toledo Zoo and the Bronx Zoo are now recognized as leaders in Kihansi spray toad conservation.

Since the beginning of our conservation efforts, the Toledo Zoo has helped to release 4,555 back into the wild, in hopes of recreating a self-sustaining population. To learn more about Kihansi spray toads, please visitwildtoledo.org.   

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