ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The northern Mexican garter snake was once thought to be extinct in New Mexico.
Not so, according to biologists at the Albuquerque BioPark.
They found 3 of the snakes in early June near the Gila River and another three later in the month.
2 of the snakes were studied, tagged and released. The rest were brought to the Albuquerque Zoo to establish a breeding population.
The BioPark biologists say the goal is to produce offspring that can be reintroduced to protected habitats in the wild.
The northern Mexican garter snake is a candidate for federal endangered species protection. It was once found throughout Arizona and in southwestern New Mexico. Scientists say it had been missing from New Mexico for nearly 20 years.
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