Australian park rangers discovered a giant, toxic toad that eats anything that fits into her mouth. They named her Toadzilla.


Rangers at Conway National park discovered Toadzilla last week.Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

  • Australian park rangers discovered a potentially record-breaking giant cane toad last week.

  • Dubbed “Toadzilla,” she weighed in at 5.95 pounds, six times more than the average of her species.

  • Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935, and are designated as pests by authorities.

Park rangers in Australia have discovered possibly the biggest cane toad ever recorded, and dubbed her “Toadzilla” in honor of her size.

Ranger Kylee Gray was clearing a trail at Conway National Park last week when she had to step out of her vehicle because of a snake blocking her path, per the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

That’s when Gray looked down and saw Toadzilla.

“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” Gray said, per the department.

The monster cane toad weighed 5.95 pounds, six times more than the average cane toad’s weight.

“We believe it’s a female due to the size, and female cane toads do grow bigger than males,” Gray said.

Gray and her team put Toadzilla in a container and removed her from the wild, she said.

“A cane toad that size will eat anything it can fit into its mouth, and that includes insects, reptiles and small mammals,” she added.

Toadzilla, with a pen for scale.Toadzilla, with a pen for scale.

Toadzilla, with pen for scale.Queensland Department of Environment and Science

Cane toads come from South and Central America, but 2,400 of them were introduced to Australia in 1935 to deal with beetles destroying Queensland’s sugarcane crops. The population of cane toads has since exploded to an estimated 200 million in Australia, and they’re considered pests by the Australian government.

These toads are poisonous, exuding venom from glands on their shoulders when provoked, so as cane toads multiplied in Australia’s wild, the number of predators in some national parks began to decline.

Some of them are known to grow to almost rival Toadzilla’s size, but specimens of her heft are rare, according to the environment and science department.

“I’m not sure how old she is, but cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild,” Gray said. “So this one has been around a long time. We’re pleased to have removed her from the national park.”

Toadzilla won’t be growing any bigger, however. Because her species is officially designated a pest, Toadzilla was euthanized, the environment and science department told Insider on Friday.

She also wasn’t officially weighed independently, a spokesperson for the department said.

“We didn’t get it on certified scales,” Gray told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “So we’re sort of kicking ourselves.”

In the meantime, Toadzilla may be donated to the Queensland Museum, which has expressed interest in taking the toad, per the department.

The largest known toad was a pet male in Sweden named Prinsen, or The Prince, weighing 5.84 pounds in 1991, per the Guinness World Records.

Read the original article on Insider


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