Zoo airlifts frogs for wild release in California

These zoo-bred frogs got to ride a helicopter

to their release site in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park

Courtesy: Oakland Zoo

California's Oakland Zoo has released 626 yellow-legged frogs to the wild

in a bid to boost their population numbers

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SAMANTHA SAMMONS, CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST AT OAKLAND ZOO, SAYING:

"Frogs are very important for the ecosystem. They are small, but they are very mighty animals. So very basically, frogs are a really important part of the food web. So larger predators depend on them as a food source. But the tadpoles will also eat algae, which keeps that down. And so just removing even one small species from the food web can actually cause a major collapse."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SAMANTHA SAMMONS, CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST AT OAKLAND ZOO, SAYING:

"The frogs get to ride on a helicopter actually for these releases just because they live at such high elevations, it's impossible for us to hike the frogs the two days to get to the lakes, they would just overheat and all our hard work would just deteriorate because the frogs wouldn't be able to handle the hike. So it's a lot that we put into these small critters to make sure that they're able to go back into the wild and have a better chance of survival."

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