- Australian park rangers discovered a potentially record-breaking giant cane toad last week.
- Nicknamed “Toadzilla”, he weighed 2.6 kg, six times the average for his species.
- Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 and designated as a pest by the authorities.
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Australian rangers discovered possibly the largest cane toad ever recorded and named it “Toadzilla” after its size.
According to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, game ranger Kylie Gray was clearing a trail in Conway National Park last week when she had to exit her vehicle because a snake was blocking her path.
Then Gray looked down and saw Toadzilla.
According to the department, Gray said, “I reached down and grabbed Ken Todd and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was.”
The monstrous cane toad weighed 2.6 kg, six times the weight of the average cane toad.
“We think it is a female because of the size, and the female cane is larger than the male,” Gray said.
Gray and his team put Toadzilla in a container and released it into the woods, he said.
“A cane toad of that size will eat anything that will fit in its mouth, and that includes insects, reptiles and small mammals,” he said.
Ken Todd came from South America and now there are 200 million in Australia
Cane toads come from South and Central America, but 2,400 of them were brought to Australia in 1935 to combat the beetles that were destroying Queensland’s sugar cane crops.
Since then, the cane toad population in Australia has reached an estimated 200 million, and they are considered a pest by the Australian government.
These toads are venomous, releasing venom from glands on their shoulders when provoked, so cane toads have multiplied in the wild in Australia, reducing the number of predators in some national parks.
Cane Todds can live up to 15 years.
Some of them have been known to grow to almost rival the size of Toadzilla, but specimens of that weight are rare, according to the Department of Environment and Science.
“I’m not sure how old it is, but cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild,” Gray said. So it’s been around for a long time. We are happy to remove it from the national park.”
However, Toadzilla won’t get any bigger. Because its species is officially designated as an insect, Toadzilla was euthanized, the Department for Science and Environment told Insider on Friday.
“We didn’t get it on a certified scale,” Gray told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “So we’re kicking ourselves.”
In the meantime, Toadzilla may be donated to the Queensland Museum, which has expressed interest in taking on the toad, according to the department.
According to Guinness World Records, the largest known toad was a domesticated male named Prinsen or The Prince in Sweden, which weighed 2.6 kg in 1991.
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