Written by Stephen Messenger
If you happen to know of any female fish of the Mangarahara cichlid variety, the London Zoo would very much like to introduce her to a couple of extremely eligible bachelors.
The zoo’s aquarium is home to two of the three remaining Mangarahara cichlids known to exist — the only problem is, they’re all males. So now, in a last-ditch bid to preserve the species from impending extinction, the zoo has issued a personal ad of sorts to find them a mate, titled ‘Male Seeking Female: Must Want Kids‘.
Although an air of desperation is usually unbecoming of a potential suitor, as Brian Zimmerman of the London Zoo notes, in this case it’s warranted:
“It might be too late for their wild counterparts, but if we can find a female, it’s not too late for the species. Here at ZSL London Zoo we have two healthy males, as well as the facilities and expertise to make a real difference.
“We are urgently appealing to anyone who owns or knows someone who may own these critically endangered fish, which are silver in colour with an orange-tipped tail, so that we can start a breeding programme here at the Zoo to bring them back from the brink of extinction.”
After the fish’s native river habitat in Madagascar was destroyed by damming operations, Mangarahara cichlids ceased to exist outside of those in captivity. Zoo officials were unable to find females in any other zoo, and are appealing to fish collectors or private aquariums that might hold the key to producing a new generation of the dwindling species.
This post was originally published by TreeHugger.
Photo: Ben Lawson/flickr