WOAI San Antonio Channel 4 News Report

S.A Zoo helping to save Texas Horned Lizards

by Michael Hernandez
Tuesday, June 25th 2019

For video on news report page Click Here

SAN ANTONIO—Here’s a quick quiz:

Do you know what the state reptile of Texas is?

It’s the Horned Lizard.

But did you also know that they are on the threatened species list?

So when I was a little boy one of the things that enjoyed doing most was going out and playing in the dirt and looking for horny toads! Maybe some of you all can relate to that and enjoyed doing the same thing.

And whatever you call them, horned lizards, horned frogs or horney toads as we used to, they are in trouble!

Andy Gluesenkamp, Director of Conservation for S.A. Zoo explains, “We have a climate controlled laboratory where we’re rearing captive born horned lizards to re-introduce into the landscape in places where they’ve disappeared years ago.”

Two dozen baby Texas horned lizards, recently hatched at the zoo will be re-introduced into selected spots when they’re three months old.

“If everything goes right we’ll have clutches of eggs that start hatching anywhere from last week to October and those are the babies that we’re going to putting back into the landscape,” says Gluesenkamp.

But you can’t just place them anywhere, you have to find some already out there.

Gren is a Dutch Shepard and to helps find other horned lizards.

Paul Bunker, Owner Chiron K9 explains,” It’s all positive reinforcement. So basically what we do is we teach Gren that if she finds the odor of scat or eggs or horned lizards she’ll receive a toy, so to her it’s a huge game.”

And with the help of Gren, the zoo is hoping to be able to hatch and release 100 horned lizards a year for the next three years and if so who knows, maybe the next generation will be able to have the same memories that I treasure.

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