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A Chinese Giant Salamander Has Arrived In London And It's Causing Quite A Stir

Meet Professor Wu.

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London Zoo's new resident is a bit of the head-turner.

Zoological Society London Zoo

Say hello Professor Wu, the only Chinese giant salamander in the UK.

The 19-year-old male was brought to London from Rotterdam Zoo as part of a new conservation project hoping to prevent the amphibians from becoming extinct in the wild.

Professor Wu, who measures over a metre in length, arrived at the end of November and visitors can now see him in a new section of the "Land of Giants" exhibit at the zoo.

The leader of Zoological Society of London’s reptile and amphibian team, Ben Tapley said:

He's an impressive size, measuring 1.3metres from snout to tail, and on top of that he has a feisty personality – it took a team of four of us to move him to his new custom-built home.

As well as an exciting new arrival here at the zoo, this giant salamander is a great representative for our ground breaking conservation project in China, where we really want to turn the fate of this critically endangered and evolutionary distinct species around.

Giant salamanders are the world's largest amphibian.

View this video on YouTube

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According to London Zoo, they are facing the threat of extinction because of over-harvesting for human consumption as well as the loss of their natural habitat in their native China.

Richard James is acting head of news for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.

Contact Richard James at richard.james@buzzfeed.com.

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