The Los Angeles Zoo announced Wednesday that it has successfully bred more than 2,000 Southern mountain yellow-legged frog tadpoles, an endangered species native to the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California.

“When we learned there was a species of amphibian in our own back yard that was in danger of becoming extinct, we joined forces with several local and federal organizations to create an insurance colony that could be reproduced and whose offspring could one day be returned to the wild,” said Ian Recchio, the zoo’s curator of reptiles and amphibians.

“Based on our past experiences with sensitive amphibian species, we were confident we could raise their numbers,” he said. “This endangered species of frog is only found in Southern California, so we felt a responsibility to help before it’s too late.”

The tadpoles are the offspring of two groups of adult frogs the zoo took into its care as tadpoles in 2014, when it set out to create an insurance colony for the species that lives in perennial streams in select areas of the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.

While zoo guests cannot currently view the frogs on exhibit, a portion of the 2,000 newly-hatched tadpoles will eventually be released back into the wild, zoo officials said.

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