Some zoos working for conservation of the not-so-charismatic

11/21/2013 | Slate

Zoos' conservation efforts tend to favor the animals that draw crowds, according to biologist Daniel Frynta of Charles University in Prague. But the less charismatic species need attention, too, writes Sarah Zielinski, who suggests the solenodon (which resembles a cross between an anteater and a rat), hooded seals (whose males have an inflatable red bladder on their faces) and the carrion-eating greater adjutant as good candidates. "Zoos full of endangered but ugly animals will never make money," Frynta said, but some are trying. Australians are working to save the Tasmanian devil, and England's Bristol Zoo has a captive breeding program for the aye-aye, a "creepy" lemur.

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