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Endangered beetles released at SW Ohio preserve

CINCINNATI (AP) — Some 200 federally protected American burying beetles have been released at a nature preserve near Cincinnati.

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Mandy Pritchard, insectarium keeper at the Cincinnati Zoo, holds a federally protected American burying beetle, Monday, May 13, 2013, at the Fernald Nature Preserve in Fernald, Ohio. AP PHOTO

Researchers at the Cincinnati Zoo, The Wilds conservation center in eastern Ohio and at other locations have been raising the beetles for release as they try to help rebuild the species.

Beetles were let loose Monday at the Fernald Nature Preserve northwest of Cincinnati. Another group will be released next month at The Wilds.

Wilds officials say the American burying beetle was once found in 35 states. It was listed as a federally protected endangered species in 1989.

The beetles in the wild use small animal carcasses as food for their developing young.

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