London Zoo seeks female mate for near-extinct fish

May 10, 2013
This is an undated image made available Friday, May 10, 2013, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) of a male Mangarahara cichlid. Aquarists at the ZSL, London Zoo, are launching an urgent worldwide appeal to find a female mate for the last remaining males of a critically endangered fish species. The Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) is believed to be extinct in the wild, due to the introduction of dams drying up its habitat of the Mangarahara River in Madagascar, and two of the last known individuals are residing in ZSL London Zoo's aquarium. (AP Photo/ZSL)

The London Zoo is urgently seeking a female mate for the last-known males of a critically endangered fish species.

Zoo officials say the Mangarahara cichlid is thought to be extinct in the wild and that two of the last known individuals—both male—are in the zoo's aquarium. A third is in the Berlin zoo.

Officials say the species' habitat in Madagascar has dried up due to .

The zoo on Friday asked aquarium owners and fish collectors to come forward it they know of any living females "so that a vital conservation breeding program can be started."

An undated image made available by Berlin Zoo of a female Mangarahara cichlid, who is no longer living. Aquarists at ZSL London Zoo are launching an urgent worldwide appeal Friday, May 10, 2013, to find a female mate for the last remaining males of a critically endangered fish species. The Mangarahara cichlid (Ptychochromis insolitus) is believed to be extinct in the wild, due to the introduction of dams drying up its habitat of the Mangarahara River in Madagascar, and two of the last known individuals are residing in the Zoological Society of London's, London Zoo aquarium. (AP Photo/Berlin Zoo)

Officials say a worldwide search of zoo and aquarium organizations has so far proved fruitless.

Explore further: 'Femme fatale' emerald ash borer decoy lures and kills males

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