A highly endangered Puerto Rican Crested toad was born through in-vitro fertilization for the first time in history.
The one-of-a-kind amphibian is named Olaf, after the snowman in the “Frozen” films — a nod to the frozen sperm that was used to create him, the AP reports.
Scientists used this method to help save the species from extinction. Olaf was the first of 300 hatchlings to be born at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas. A previous attempt at toad IVF had failed.
“We don’t typically name our toads, but that one deserved special recognition,” Diane Barber, ectotherms curator at the zoo, told the wire service. “We were super, super excited. … You kind of hold your breath for 30 days to see if they’re going to metamorphose.”
Scientists traveled to Guayanilla last year to collect sperm from six toads, who excrete semen as they urinate.
The effort sometimes required the scientists to get a little hands on.
“It’s kind of weird, but if you hold them in your hand and look at them and bark at them like a dog, they will pee,” explained Barber.
Of the more than 300 toads born via IVF, 100 were sent to other zoos with captive breeding programs. The remaining 200 will be sent to Puerto Rico in December via FedEx to be released into the wild.
With Post wires
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