There's a first going on at the St. Louis Zoo. This isn't just a first for the zoo, but for the whole world. Zookeepers are trying to keep hellbenders from becoming extinct.
A hellbender is a large aquatic salamander that's native to North America.
"They're critically endangered and recently were listed as a federally endangered species," explained Chawna Schuette, Hellbender Keeper.
The Saint Louis Zoo is home to thousands of Hellbenders.
"This is a first because up until 2011 nobody had ever reproduced these animals in captivity before so this is a world first captive breeding. We're also the only zoo that has this species is in captivity other than I believe one other institution has two individual animals. We have close to 4,000," said Schuette.
Most of the Hellbenders are kept under close watch, but some are on display at the Herpetarium for you to check out next time you visit the St. Louis Zoo. For prices and hours head to www.stlzoo.org.