Giant Cane Toad found in Australia, Rangers name it “Toadzilla”

Adult_Cane_toad
Adult Cane Toad Credit: Wikimedia/Brian Gratwicke

Recently, park rangers in a rainforest in Australia spotted a giant cane toad so large that they had to name it “Toadzilla.” The large predator was discovered by park rangers on January 12 in Conway National Park in Australia by Ranger Kylee Gray and her team.


Cane toads came originally from the continents of South America and North America. However, they were introduced to various continents and islands, including Northern Australia. Cane toads were introduced in Northern Australia in 1935 to control cane beetle, which damaged sugar cane plantations at the time.


Since its introduction, cane toads have tremendously affected the biodiversity of Australia. Mostly, cane toads act as predators and eat anything which can fit into their mouths, such as insects, reptiles, and even small mammals.


On average, adult cane toads are usually 10 to 15 centimeters (4 to 6 inches) in length. According to the Guinness World Records, the world’s largest toad is 38 centimeters (1.3 feet) in length and weighs 2.65 kilograms (5.8 pounds).


Upon finding the large cane toad they dubbed “Toadzilla,” Ranger Gray and her team quickly put it into a container to remove it from the wild. After returning to base, Ranger Gray weighed the newly found giant cane toad. It was nearly 2.7 kilograms in weight, possibly being a new world record.


At first, Ranger Gray and her team thought of calling the large predator “Connie” after Conway National Park. But ultimately, they decided to name it “Toadzilla” after the fictional character “Godzilla.” Similar to the fictional character, Toadzilla may be seen as a threat to its surroundings. Cane toads are infamous as one of the most invasive pests in Australia.


Cane toads are especially harmful for their surroundings, since they can increase quickly in large numbers. Cane toads can produce as many as 30,000 eggs in a season. Cane toads can also be deadly to wildlife because of their poison glands, which makes their skin poisonous. As there is no method to control or target the cane toads without harming other organisms, they must be collected and removed by hand.


Because of these reasons, Toadzilla was “humanely euthanized” as per the statement given by the Department of Environment and Science. Euthanizing refers to killing an animal in the least painful way, for the animal.

Flesch Kincaid Grade Level: 8.9


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