An Australian game ranger gasped when she saw the record-breaking monstrous cane toad, now nicknamed “Toadzilla.”
Australian park rangers made a discovery this week that shocked onlookers and broke records: a nearly six-pound cane toad now nicknamed “Toadzilla.”
The toad was found during a routine check in Australia’s Conway National Park, when game ranger Kylee Gray stopped her vehicle for a passing snake. After getting out of her vehicle, Gray looked down and gasped at the sight of a monstrously large toad.
“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” Gray said in aQueensland Department of Environment and Science. “We named it Toadzilla and quickly put it in a container so we could take it out of the wild.”
“Toadzilla” weighed in at a record 5.95 pounds (2.7 kilograms) and is believed to be a female due to its size, as female cane toads grow larger than males.
A typical cane toad weighs an average of about three pounds, according to. They can survive in the wild for up to 15 years and produce 30,000 eggs in each breeding cycle.
Cane Toads are also known for their unusual eating habits. They are omnivorous, consuming mainly insects, as well as small mammals, birds, lizards, and even other frogs.
“A cane toad that size will eat anything that fits in its mouth,” Gray said.
The Cane Toad’s voracious appetite has driven it to warm waters in Australia. Native to South and Central America, the cane toad was introduced to Australia in the 1930s as part of a government initiative to control the growing cane beetle population.
According tocane beetles had wreaked havoc on sugar crops, forcing the Queensland government to seek alternative methods of dealing with the pesky insects.
But cane toads have no natural predators in Australia, and their toxic skin often kills would-be predators quickly, allowing them to stay at the top of the food chain. So when the toads were introduced, they eventually got out of hand, forcing native species out of their habitats by hoarding shelters and resources and disrupting the region’s natural ecosystems.
According to smithsonianthe increase in cane toads also had no discernible effect on the cane beetle population, and now Australia is struggling to control the growing toad population.
Today, there are over 200 million cane toads in Australia. This is a staggering increase from the original 2,400 cane toads introduced nearly a century ago, and they are projected to expand westward at a rate of 25 to 37 miles per year.
While “Toadzilla” is wonderful, park rangers have removed it from the park citing the environmental issues posed by cane toads in Australia. The Queensland Department of Environment and Science confirmed in athat “Toadzilla” had been euthanized.
“A female cane toad like Toadzilla would potentially lay up to 35,000 eggs. So their ability to reproduce is pretty amazing,” said senior ranger Barry Nolan, one of Gray’s colleagues.In an interview. “All parts of the cane toad’s breeding cycle are poisonous to native Australian species, so prevention is an important part of how we need to manage them.”
The toad’s body has been donated to the Queensland Museum for further research. Previously, the Guinness World Record for the heaviest toad belonged to Prinsen, a pet cane toad in Sweden that weighed 5.81 pounds in 1991.
After reading about “Toadzilla”, learn about the. Then read about who threatened pets and clogged swimming pools in a Florida neighborhood.