Last week, I took a week off from work to volunteer with N.C. State Parks to help with hellbender surveys in the New River in Ashe County. Hellbenders are large salamanders that live under rocks in clean, swift-moving rivers in eastern North America. Their brown, black and green marbled patterned backs blend in perfectly with their underwater surroundings. They can reach as long as 29 inches and can weigh up to five pounds.
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