Critically endangered frogs bred at London Zoo

A male Lake Oku Clawed Frog

A male Lake Oku Clawed Frog - Credit: Archant

A critically endangered species of frog has been bred in a UK zoo for the first time ever.

A Lake Oku Clawed Frog tadpole

A Lake Oku Clawed Frog tadpole - Credit: Archant

The Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) team of amphibian keepers at London Zoo in Regent’s Park are the first in the world to have successfully bred Lake Oku clawed frogs, marking a momentous step in ensuring the future survival of the species.

Native only to Lake Oku, a single high-altitude freshwater lake in Western Cameroon, Africa, the small, totally aquatic frogs are some of the most genetically unusual creatures in the world, having developed extra chromosomes as they evolved.

Ben Tapley, head of the reptile and amphibian team at ZSL London Zoo said: “We are absolutely delighted. We worked closely with field biologists to obtain very precise environmental data from Lake Oku which we replicated in our facilities here at ZSL London Zoo. It’s a phenomenal achievement for the survival of this species.”