Australian park wardens say ‘Toadzilla’ could be world’s largest toad – Portal

Australian park wardens say ‘Toadzilla’ could be world’s largest toad – Portal

SYDNEY, Jan 20 (Portal) – Australian park rangers believe they have stumbled upon a record-breaking giant toad deep in a rainforest.

Dubbed ‘Toadzilla’, the cane toad, an invasive species that poses a threat to Australia’s ecosystem, was spotted by ‘shocked’ park ranger Kylee Gray on January 12 while on patrol in Queensland’s Conway National Park.

Gray and her colleagues caught the animal and brought it back to their office, where it weighed 2.7 kg (6 pounds).

Guinness World Records lists the largest toad at 2.65 kg (5.8 pounds), a 1991 record set by a Swedish pet.

“We considered naming her Connie after Conway National Park, but Toadzilla was the one who just kept getting thrown out there, so it kind of stuck,” Gray told state broadcaster ABC on Friday.

Gray’s colleague, Senior Park Ranger Barry Nolan, told Portal the animal was euthanized due to its “ecological impact” – the usual fate for the toads across Australia.

Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control field beetles and other pests, but their population has exploded, and with no natural predators, they’ve become a threat to Australian species, Nolan said.

“A female cane toad, like possibly Toadzilla, would lay up to 35,000 eggs. So their ability to reproduce is pretty amazing. And all parts of the cane toad’s breeding cycle are toxic to Australian native species, so prevention is a big part of how we need to deal with them,” he said.

Toadzilla’s body was donated to the Queensland Museum for research.

Reporting by James Redmayne and Joseph Campbell Editing by Alasdair Pal, Robert Birsel

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