Missouri Releases 10,000th Giant Hellbender Salamander into River
Can I admit that at first I didn't take this as a good idea? Now, I realize it very much was. There's video showing that the state of Missouri has just released their 10,000 giant salamander called Hellbenders into the wild. It's a good thing. Trust me.
I saw this news shared by The Kansas City Star. It includes video from the St. Louis Zoo as they explain how the release of hellbender giant salamanders into rivers is a good thing for these endangered species.
According to their story, these little guys who eventually become quite large are also called snot otters. I prefer that name, personally. This release is part of a concerted effort with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to help this slimy amphibian find its way off of the endangered list.
How did this salamander end up being called a hellbender?
Wikipedia claims that early settlers thought this creature looked like something that had escaped Hell, so that's how the name stuck.
Are Hellbender salamanders dangerous to humans?
That's a big "nope". As Wikipedia declares, they feed on small fish and crayfish.