Hellbenders return to Kokosing River

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — They’re ugly and they’re reclusive, but they can draw a crowd.

The rock stars of the day Tuesday were more than 70 hellbender salamanders who were introduced to their new homes in the Kokosing River. Generally about 10 inches long, they are 3 years old, probably three or four years from sexual maturity. They have been known to live 30 years in captivity.

Raised at the Toledo and Columbus zoos from eggs found in the Muskingum and Scioto drainages, the amphibians were greeted by between 40 and 50 people representing the zoos, the Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Knox County Park District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Brown Family Environmental Center/ Kenyon College, OSU Extension, at least three newspapers and even the Crawford County Park District.

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Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or cmartin@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



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