Australian rangers have found a giant cane toad – a warty brown specimen as long as a human arm and weighing 2.7kg – in the scrub of a coastal park.
The toad was spotted after a snake moving on a trail forced wildlife officials to stop as they drove through Queensland’s Conway National Park, the government said.
The animal was euthanized
“I bent down and grabbed the toad. I couldn’t believe its size and weight,” said ranger Kylee Gray, describing their discovery of the amphibian last week.
“A cane toad this size will eat anything it can fit in its mouth, including insects, reptiles and small mammals,” she explained.
The animal of an invasive species was removed and euthanized.
Cane toads were introduced to Queensland in 1935 to control the spread of certain beetles, with devastating consequences for local wildlife.
A “monster” that will end up in the museum
At 2.7 kg, almost the weight of a newborn human, the toad could break the record for the largest specimen of its species, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science said in a statement.
Described as a “monster,” the department said it could end up in the Queensland Museum.
Because of its size, rangers believe it is a female.
Although its age is unknown, “this one has been around for a long time,” said Kylee Gray, explaining that amphibians have a lifespan of 15 years in the wild.
Female cane toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs in one season. These animals are extremely venomous, causing the local extinction of some of their predators.