Rudely named frogs become zoo attraction to save them from extinction

A rare breed of frog has gone on display at a British zoo, nicknamed the ‘ballsack’ frog.

Ballsack frogs

The species, though officially called Lake Titicaca frogs, garnered the eye-popping nickname due to their appearance, which is said to resemble a scrotum.

Their saggy folds of excess skin which earned them the moniker are used to absorb oxygen from water from the bottom of the lake where they are found in Bolivia.

Chester Zoo has become the first attraction in the UK to home the rare breed, which was officially classed as endangered International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

It is believed that up to 80 per cent of Lake Titicaca frogs have been lost in the last two decades.

Zoo curator Dr Gerardo Garcia said: “What we need to do now is to build on our knowledge of the species and its biology – by learning all about their life cycle, mating behaviours, favoured habitat, and ability to tolerate or resist a deadly fungus that is wiping out lots of amphibians, called chytrid.

We can then harness that valuable information for conservation action in the wild.”

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