The NC Wildlife Resources Commission is asking for the public’s help in finding North Carolina’s disappearing Hellbenders.
The elusive creatures are extremely sensitive to poor water quality since they breath through their skin, which is a large reason for their steady decline, along with overall habitat loss.
The “snot otter” or “Alleghany alligator” averages about 16 to 17 inches in length, with some adults growing to over 24 inches long.
They sent out a press release asking anyone who spots a Hellbender to “note the location (physical location or GPS coordinates) and take a photo, if possible”
According to the press release, “hellbenders are listed as species of special concern in North Carolina. Because of this listing, it is illegal to take, possess, transport or sell a hellbender or to attempt to do so. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in a fine and up to 120 days in jail.”
If you find one, please email the location and a picture to to Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Commission Wildlife Interaction Helpline (866) 318-2401.