Earlier this year, the London Zoo made a worldwide appeal to find a mate for two of its most eligible bachelors -- a pair of Mangarahara cichlids, among the last three known members of fish species racing towards extinction lest a female be found.
After failing to turn up any lady cichlids in zoos, aquariums, or private fish collections around the globe, the Zoological Society of London decided to take a more hands-on approach in their desperate bid as matchmaker. A villager in the cichlid's native Madagascar had contacted the Zoo saying he had seen the fish, thought to have been wiped out entirely in the wild. Armed with that tip alone, the ZSL mounted a search expedition there on the off chance the claim was true.
According to the London Zoo, days of searching in the remote Madagascan village's stream initially proved fruitless -- that is, until they happened upon a tributary that had become disconnected from the main waterway.
Incredibly, the team found a small population of Mangarahara cichlids still clinging to life there, including a few highly sought-after females.