Long missing frog, turtle species making return to Yosemite

AP News
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Posted: May 26, 2016 12:00 AM

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A type of frog made famous by Mark Twain will soon be hopping through Yosemite National Park after a long absence.

Park ecologist Rob Grasso said Wednesday that the San Francisco Zoo has been nurturing the California red-legged frog featured in Twain's short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." The zoo is also raising Western pond turtles.

Grasso says both are native to Yosemite but have been missing from the park for at least 40 years, falling prey to non-native species and bad management choices.

Officials say they already released 2,000 tadpoles in March. The first 10 adult turtles will be released in June.

Joe Fitting of the San Francisco Zoo says that by helping the frogs and turtles, they're helping Yosemite overall become healthier.