SYDNEY, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Australian rangers believe they have stumbled upon a record-breaking cane toad deep in a rainforest.
Nicknamed ‘Toadzilla’, the cane toad, an invasive species that poses a threat to Australia’s ecosystem, was spotted by ‘shocked’ ranger Kylee Gray while on patrol in Conway National Park, Australia. State of Queensland, January 12.
Gray and his colleagues grabbed 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 that kept getting thrown around there, so that kind of stuck,” Gray told the state broadcaster. ABC Friday.
Gray’s colleague, senior ranger Barry Nolan, told Reuters the animal was euthanized because of its “ecological impact” – the usual fate of toads across Australia.
Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control beetles and other pests, but their population exploded and without natural predators they became a threat to Australian species, Nolan said.
“A female cane toad like potentially Toadzilla would lay up to 35,000 eggs. Their ability to reproduce is therefore quite staggering. And all parts of the cane toad reproductive cycle are toxic to native Australian species, so prevention is a big part of how we have to manage 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
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.