July 6, 2009

Prison inmates help rescue endangered frogs

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Prison inmates help rescue endangered frogs

Prison inmates with no biology training are doing a better job than zoo professionals at rescuing an endangered frog. That’s the bottom line of a Seattle Times story today by Jennifer Sullivan on Cedar Creek Corrections Center denizens Harry Greer and Albert Delp’s efforts to rescue the Oregon spotted frog. The inmates raise tadpoles, and have lost significantly fewer than the other two institutions involved in the rescue effort, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, Northwest Trek near Mount Rainier and the Oregon Zoo in Portland. Greer’s in on a robbery rap, while Delp is serving time for felony drunken driving. They earn 85 cents an hour for their efforts, and they’re said to put a lot of time in on the project at the prison near Olympia. They do have a lot of time on their hands, after all. Says Marc Haynes, the state scientist coordinating the frog rescue: “They baby those things literally night and day. They can look at them every two hours and feed them at a higher rate. They have the time to give them a much closer level of care.”

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