Push resumes to recognize official Pennsylvania amphibian
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —
Pennsylvania's Senate wants to make the slimy and unsightly Eastern hellbender the state's official amphibian, an effort to highlight the plight of a creature whose numbers researchers say are declining because of pollution in rivers and streams.
The bill passed 48-1 on Monday, and goes to the House.
The sponsor, Sen. Gene Yaw, says members of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's student leadership council came up with the idea and Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute helped draft a proposal.
The Senate passed a hellbender bill last year, but it died in the House, where it encountered competing legislation promoting the Wehrle's salamander.
According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the hellbender is an aquatic salamander that can grow up to two feet long, making them the largest North American amphibian.