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Endangered Mountain Vipers Born At St. Louis Zoo

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File photo of a snake hatching from an egg. (Photo by ASIT KUMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a snake hatching from an egg. (Photo by ASIT KUMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nine endangered snakes indigenous to Turkey are now calling the St. Louis Zoo home.

The zoo says the ocellate mountain vipers were born there on Aug. 16. The Forest Park zoo is one of just three in this country to care for the endangered species.

The venomous snake was believed to be extinct for nearly 140 years before it reappeared in eastern Turkey three decades ago. The zoo’s conservation breeding program is designed to boost the species’ population.

The effort is an extension of the zoo’s preservation work with the Armenian viper, a close relative of the ocellate mountain viper.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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