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"Opposites attract: while Romeo is very shy, Juliet is not at all... an excellent match for Romeo," scientists said.
Ten years a bachelor, Romeo- the world’s loneliest frog- has fallen head over flippers for his Juliet, scientists said Tuesday after a fruitful expedition to Bolivia’s cloud forests merited a web-footed mate.
Juliet was among five Sehuencas water frogs rescued from the wilds of Bolivia’s rainforests, researchers from the Global Wildlife Conservation and the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny said.
“Now the real work begins – we know how to care of this species in captivity, but now we will learn about its reproduction,” said expedition leader, Teresa Camacho Badani, from the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny.
The pair of adult amphibians are a match made in heaven, balancing each other out in every way, Camacho Badini told the BBC.
“Juliet likes worms as much as Romeo. She is very strong and swims very fast. She looks great and is healthy. Opposites attract: while Romeo is very shy, Juliet is not at all. So we think she will make an excellent match for Romeo,” said Camacho Badani.
A required quarantine has stalled the lovers’ first meeting, but it keeps Romeo healthy and safe from any dangerous, foreign bacterias or infections.
“We do not want Romeo to get sick on his first date! When the treatment is finished, we can finally give Romeo what we hope is a romantic encounter with his Juliet,” Camacho Badani said.
Romeo was the last known frog of his kind and he has been fruitlessly calling for a mate from his tank at the Cochabamba Natural History Museum for years.
Last Valentine’s Day, Global Wildlife Conservation hooked up with dating website Match to raise money for lonesome Bolivian frog Romeo's last shot at romance.
His dating profile, accompanied by a video displaying his ‘sexy’ swimming moves, read, "Not to start this off super heavy or anything, but I'm literally the last of my species."
Pollution, habitat loss, climate change, an infectious disease, chytridiomycosis, have largely participated in the dissipation of 22 percent of Bolivia’s amphibian species.
The new discovery of three males and the two female frogs brings hope for the species' survival.
"It's a really good opportunity to use Romeo to help understand those threats, help understand how to bring those species back from the brink but also at the same time to take advantage of the global profile that Romeo and his species has now," said Camacho Badani.
Chris Jordan of Global Wildlife Conservation said, "We have a real chance to save the Sehuencas water frog - restoring a unique part of the diversity of life that is the foundation of Bolivia's forests, and generating important information on how to restore similar species at grave risk of extinction."