Queensland Department of Environment and Science via AP
Park rangers in northern Australia found a cane toad so giant it caused gasps and disbelief.
The toad, which rangers nicknamed “Toadzilla”, weighed in at what is thought to be a record 5.95 pounds, compared to an average weight of 1 pound.
Park ranger Kylee Gray spotted the monster toad while doing trail work in Conway National Park and ‘couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was’, she said in a press release.
Rangers think it’s a female toad, and while they don’t know how old it is, “this one has been around for a long time,” Gray said. Cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild.
Rangers quickly put the toad in a container to remove it from the wild and euthanize it. Cane toads were introduced to Queensland in 1935 to control the reed beetle population, but have become a nuisance pest in their own right, colonizing habitats and poisoning other wildlife.
“A cane toad this size will eat anything it can put in its mouth, including insects, reptiles and small mammals,” Gray said.
Cane toads are native to South and Central America and have no natural predators in Australia. The may be over 200 million cane toads on the mainland – a stunning increase from the 100 introduced less than a century ago. Because their bodies are toxic to other species, they have caused local extinctions of some potential predators.
The toad’s body will be donated to the Queensland Museum, which has expressed interest as it may be the largest on record. The largest known toad is Prinsen, a guinness world record-holding a cane toad that reached 5 pounds and 13 ounces in 1991.