This May 3, 2019 photo provided by the National Park Service shows a close-up image of a red-legged frog released on Friday May 3, 2019 in Cooks Meadow in Yosemite Valley. Red-legged frogs made famous by Mark Twain are thriving in Yosemite Valley after a decades-long absence. (Al Golub/Yosemite Conservancy/National Park Service via AP)

Red-legged frogs thriving in Yosemite after long absence

May 06, 2019 - 2:24 pm

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Red-legged frogs made famous by Mark Twain are thriving in Yosemite Valley after a decades-long absence.

Officials said Monday they have documented the first breeding by the frogs in Yosemite since 2017. That's when adult red-legged frogs were first reintroduced after a 50-year absence.

Yosemite National Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds says ecologists found clusters of eggs in meadows and ponds this spring when it normally takes years to see such results.

The California red-legged frog is named for its colorful legs and belly. It was featured in Twain's short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."

The frog disappeared from Yosemite in part because non-native, predatory bullfrogs first introduced to a reflection pond spread throughout the valley and, over time, gobbled them up.

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