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There Are Just Three Males of This Endangered Fish Left, And the London Zoo Is on a Global Hunt to Find a Lady

There are just three fish of this species left in the world, and they're all males.

If you know of one of these female Mangarahara cichlids, let the London Zoological Society know. They need her help to save the species. Photo: Berlin Zoo

There are just three Mangarahara cichlids left in the world, so far as we know, and they’re all men. Two are at in the London Zoo, one is in Germany at the Berlin Zoo. The species was wiped out in the wild when the Mangarahara River in Madagascar dried up because of dams built to block the river, says the Associated Press.

The Berlin Zoo used to have a female, but she has unfortunately passed away, along with the best chance to revive the species in captivity. Now, the Zoological Society of London says in a release, they’re on a global quest to find a lady friend for their male cichlids. If you or anyone you know has one in a fish tank somewhere, they would really, really like to hear from you.

Launching the appeal, ZSL London Zoo’s Brian Zimmerman said: “The Mangarahara cichlid is shockingly and devastatingly facing extinction; its wild habitat no longer exists and as far as we can tell, only three males remain of this entire species.

“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.

If a female can’t be found, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve had to sit idly by and watch a the last of a species wait out its final end. Just recently, Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island tortoise, passed away. And botanical gardens around the world feature the identical faces of the last E. woodii, each of them a clone of the same male plant.

More from Smithsonian.com:

The Last of His Kind, Tortoise Lonesome George Dies, Leaving No Offspring

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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