- Associated Press - Friday, February 3, 2017

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - A reward for the return hundreds of endangered salamanders missing since November from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service aquatic center in Central Texas has been increased to $20,000.

Authorities say 253 Texas blind salamanders and 110 San Marcos salamanders disappeared Thanksgiving Day from the center in San Marcos. The center was closed that day and there’s no sign of forced entry.

Most of the missing animals are Texas blind salamanders, pale, 3- to 4-inch amphibians that can regenerate lost limbs. They’re believed to live only in roughly 25 square miles of aquifer beneath San Marcos.

Collette Adkins, an attorney and biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, tells the Austin American-Statesman (https://atxne.ws/2l6Pi9V ) that as the clock keeps ticking, the chances of recovering the animals alive lessens.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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