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Zoo Program

 Zoo Programs

A tank set-up for hellbenders in captivity

Many zoos across the country have their own captive rearing or breeding programs for hellbenders.  These zoos partner with universities in order to establish their own facilities for the hellbenders then receive a number of young hellbenders to rear.  This partnership is incredibly beneficial as it allows zoos to participate in the conservation process and educate general public about the hellbender and its decline. 


Some zoos also have their own captive breeding programs.  The St. Louis zoo, for example, has 2 large, outdoor stream chambers that are 40 feet long and 6 feet deep as well as an indoor 32-foot simulated stream.  Each simulated stream has rock and gravel cover as well as artificial nest boxes.  Saint Louis had its first successful captive egg spawning in 2011, and now many zoos are working on establishing their own breeding programs.