NEW YORK (AP) The Bronx Zoo has released 38 salamanders called Eastern hellbenders into streams in western New York.

The effort to help the species survive is a collaboration between the Bronx Zoo, the Buffalo Zoo and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC collected the eggs from the Allegheny River. They hatched at the Buffalo Zoo in 2009.

The hatchlings were raised at the Bronx facility's Amphibian Propagation Center. The salamanders were returned last week to the area where the eggs were found.

Each hellbender was tagged with a microchip so their health can be tracked.

New York state lists the hellbender as a species of special concern.

Eastern hellbenders are also known as devil dogs, Allegheny alligators and snot otters. They measure nearly 2 feet in length as adults.