BRONX, N.Y. (WUSA9) -- The Bronx Zoo is releasing Eastern hellbenders back into New York waters.
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo is working to save the Eastern hellbender, one of the largest species of salamander in the world.
The hellbender head-start program is a collaboration between the Bronx Zoo, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Buffalo Zoo.
The hellbenders were hatched at the Buffalo Zoo in October 2009 and raised at the Bronx Zoo's Amphibian Propagation Center.
The eggs were collected by the DEC from the Allegheny River drainage, the same location where the hellbenders will be returned.
The hellbenders have tiny chips for tracking once they are back in the wild.
New York State lists the hellbender as a species of Special Concern. Populations are declining due to disease, pollution, and habitat destruction.