‘Toadzilla’ weighed 2.7 kg (nearly 6 lbs) and could have set a new world record for height, Queensland rangers said.
A “monster cane toad” that weighs as much as some newborn human babies has been spotted by Australian rangers in north Queensland.
The giant cane toad, named “Toadzilla,” was found by rangers in Queensland’s Conway National Park and weighed 2.7 kg (almost 6 lbs), which could potentially set a new world record, the Queensland Department for Environment and Science said on Friday .
Ranger Kylee Gray was driving through the park last week when a snake slithering down a path forced their vehicle to a halt. As she got out of the vehicle, Gray said she was confronted by a cane toad, whose sheer size made her gasp.
“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” Gray said in a statement.
“We named it Toadzilla and quickly put it in a container so we could remove it from the wild,” she said.
“A cane toad this size will eat anything that fits in its mouth, including insects, reptiles, and small mammals,” Gray said, adding that Toadzilla was assumed to be a female.
Australia’s ABC News quoted Gray as saying the toad looks “almost like a football with legs”.
A park ranger holds the giant cane toad called Toadzilla, which was discovered in Conway National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo received on January 20, 2023 [Queensland Department of Environment and Science/AFP]
Discovered at an altitude of 393 meters (1,289 feet), the toad’s enormous size has sparked a great deal of interest among park rangers and beyond.
“The Queensland Museum is interested in taking her as she may be the largest ever,” Gray said, adding that cane toads can live up to 15 years.
However, Toadzilla’s life was cut short. The ABC reported on Friday that the toad was “euthanized” and was due to be sent to the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.
Cane toads are an alien species introduced to Australia from South and Central America in 1935 to control beetles in Queensland’s sugarcane industry prior to the use of agricultural chemicals.
They are capable of poisoning predators that try to eat them and “there is no broad-based way to control” cane toads, which can now be found across northern Australia and range within an estimated 40 to 100 acres moving west 60 km (about 25 to 37 miles) per year, according to the Australian government.
Female cane toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs in one season.