Romeo, the World's Loneliest Frog, Has Finally Found a Date After 10 Years
Here a few facts for you to digest: 1) The world's loneliest frog exists; 2) we know who he is; 3) his name is Romeo. We'll give you a second to process all that. Got it? Good. Now, here is a fourth fact: Romeo has a date.
Yes, it's a true amphibian love story for the ages. Putting an end to 10 long years in isolation in an aquarium in Bolivia, scientists have reportedly found Romeo's Juliet during an expedition in a remote Bolivian cloud forest. He was taken into confinement when it became clear that Sehuencas water frogs were in danger of extinction, but then researchers were unable to find him any companions. (If this sounds familiar, that's because Match.com made him a profile a year ago.) But that's all over now. And if there's hope for him, maybe there's hope for you?
"Romeo is really calm and relaxed and doesn't move a whole lot," Teresa Camacho Badani, chief of herpetology at the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny, told BBC News. "He's healthy and likes to eat, but he is kind of shy and slow." Juliet, on the other hand, is "really energetic, she swims a lot and she eats a lot and sometimes she tries to escape."
In the words of Avril Levine, can we make it any more obvious?
But Juliet isn't the only frog that was found. Five Sehuencas water frogs in total -- three males and two females -- were captured on the expedition. These were the first spotted in the wild since Romeo. The plan is to get the frogs to breed and then reintroduced them to their habitat in the hopes of repopulation.
The amphibians are all quarantined in the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d'Orbigny's conservation center. In advance of mating and true love, they're being treated against chytridiomycosis, an infectious disease that's a threat to the amphibians all over the world. Once that's done, Romeo will meet Juliet.
"We have a real chance to save the Sehuencas water frog," Chris Jordan of Global Wildlife Conservation, one of the groups supporting the effort, told the BBC, "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."
For the species' sake, let's all hope their story ends differently than their namesake's.