ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The ABQ BioPark is working on breeding a population of a snake so rare it was thought to be extinct in New Mexico until last month.
BioPark biologists discovered a few northern Mexican garter snakes near the Gila River, in early June.
Before June, this type of garter snake had not been seen in New Mexico for 20 years.
Biologists combed the state for three years looking for the snake and had largely given up on finding it.
"To be honest, I was actually shocked when we found them," senior zookeeper, Joshua Davis, said. "I was in disbelief until they actually brought them back to the BioPark."
Along with breeding young northern Mexican garter snakes, biologists plan to study these snakes and how they benefit the Gila River system.
BioPark staff say the northern Mexican garter snake will likely be federally listed as an endangered species soon.
These garter snakes should be on display soon at the BioPark.
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