Research Participation Spotlight


Columbian Park Zoo is one of three zoos that are participating in a Purdue conservation program that will help increase the survival rates of hellbenders in the wild. We received three three-year old hellbenders, or giant salamanders from Purdue University in mid-May and will house the hellbenders for approximately two years after which Dr. Williams, Associate Professor of Wildlife Science and leader of the university’s hellbender effort, will release them back into their Southern Indiana habitat to be tracked. Hellbender populations are decreasing in the wild partly due to habitat degradation, low-quality water and infectious disease. To help with increasing awareness of this declining species we are incorporating hellbender conservation messages into our education programs. The Columbian Park Zoo will hold the 2nd Annual 'Help the Hellbender Day' on August 27, 2016, to celebrate the species and educate the community on ways they can help protect this animal.