When looking for the perfect mate, one has to kiss a lot of frogs. But what happens when an actual frog needs to find its soulmate?
It was thought Romeo might be the last Sehuencas water frog in existence, so last year Global Wildlife Conservation created an amusing dating profile for the frog hoping to raise awareness about his plight.
Luckily, Romeo's Juliet may have been found. During an expedition in a Bolivian cloud forest, scientists located and captured five Sehuencas water frogs, a mix of male and female, in a stream hoping to breed them and reintroduce the frogs back into their natural habitat.
Teresa Camacho Badani -- chief of herpetology at the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny in Cochabamba City -- headed up the expedition and seems optimistic for an opposites-attract kind of match between Romeo and one of the newly discovered water frogs. Her nickname? Juliet, naturally.
"While Romeo is very shy, Juliet is not at all," Badani said in a Q&A on the Global Wildlife Conservation site. "So we think she will make an excellent match for Romeo. She's "very strong, and swims very fast. She looks great and is healthy."
Luckily, there's a backup plan if the pair doesn't make a love connection. "If the two don't click, we have some additional pairs who can breed and help save their species from extinction," Badani said.
But before any matchmaking can begin, the recently captured frogs are in quarantine at the museum's conservation center to be treated preventatively against a deadly infectious disease called chytridiomycosis that's threatening the lives of amphibians around the world.
Then finally, Romeo and Juliet will meet in hopes they will bond and produce offspring that can be placed in the wild.
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