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Topic: Nashvill Zoo

Nashville Zoo Hatches Historic Hellbender


Nashville ZooNashville, TN – On October 11th, 2015, the Zoo was successful in hatching an eastern hellbender that was the result of an egg being artificially fertilized with cryopreserved sperm; an achievement that had only been successful once before in an internal fertilizing tiger salamander in 2014. Moreover, this hellbender is the first externally fertilizing salamander to be produced utilizing cryopreserved sperm.

“It’s a pretty big deal for the conservation of this species and all amphibians,” said McGinnity. “This accomplishment means we can collect and preserve milt (seminal fluid containing sperm) from wild populations without removing hellbenders from their environment. Cryopreserved sperm may remain viable for hundreds to thousands of years when kept at ultra-low temperatures with liquid nitrogen. ”

Hellbender tadpole. (Sherri Reinsch)

Hellbender tadpole. (Sherri Reinsch)

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