A giant cane toad has been discovered in a rainforest in northern Australia’s Queensland state. The female amphibian, six times the size, was nicknamed Toadzilla by the incredulous wildlife officials who spotted it.
Toadzilla was immediately caught, placed in a container and taken to Forest Ranger Base for weighing. At that moment, officials realized that it was a record-breaking example. The world’s largest toad record, set in Sweden in 1991 by the native toad Prinsen weighing 2.65 kg, was actually beaten by Toadzilla, which weighs 2.7 kg.
The incredulous Kylee Gray, the ranger who found the animal on a patrol in the woods. “It looked like a football with legs, I’ve never seen one that big,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Toadzilla probably got this size because of its diet. “A cane toad that size will eat anything in its mouth,” Gray said, noting that the amphibian feeds on insects, reptiles, and small mammals.
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Toadzilla was euthanized in strict accordance with standard Australian parasite management procedures. Toads, which first arrived in Oceania in 1935, actually have no natural predators in Australia, and the venomous species is causing tremendous damage to native fauna and culture. Currently, the toad population in the country is estimated at around two billion specimens. Toadzilla’s body is donated to the Queensland Museum.