As part of an effort to rebuild Northwest populations of endangered frogs — specifically Oregon spotted frogs — two inmates at Cedar Creek Corrections Center near Olympia were given 80 frog eggs with the goal of growing them into adult frogs.
The two — Harry Greer and Al Delp — not only took the job seriously, their frogs grew larger and with a higher survival rate than identical frogs grown by experts at Woodland Park Zoo and Oregon Zoo.
Sarah Waller, a reporter for KUOW News, tells the story well, and I encourage you to listen to her report. Other accounts are provided in a news release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and in a newspaper story by Jennifer Sullivan of the Seattle Times.
What Sarah Waller does not tell us is why the inmates were able
to grow larger frogs, so I contacted Marc Hayes, project leader for
the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.