Australia: discovery of a giant buffalo toad of 2.7 kg
Steph Deschamps / January 20, 2023
Australian rangers found a giant buffalo toad in the brush of a coastal park - a warty brown specimen as long as a human arm and weighing 2.7 kg.
The toad was spotted after a snake moving along a track forced wildlife officers to stop while driving through Conway National Park in Queensland, the state government said.
I reached down and grabbed the toad. I couldn't believe its size and weight," said Park Ranger Kylee Gray, describing her discovery of the amphibian last week.
"A buffalo toad of this size will eat anything that will fit in its mouth, including insects, reptiles and small mammals," she explained.
The animal, from an invasive species, was taken away and put down.
Buffalo toads were introduced in Queensland in 1935 to control the proliferation of certain beetles, with devastating consequences for the local fauna.
At 2.7 kg, almost the weight of a newborn human, the toad could break the record for the largest specimen of the species, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science said in a statement.
Described as a "monster", the department said it could end up in the Queensland Museum.
Because of its size, rangers believe it is a female.
Although its age is unknown, "this one has been around for a long time," Gray estimated, explaining that amphibians have a life expectancy of 15 years in the wild.
Female buffalo toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs in a season. These animals are extremely toxic, causing the local extinction of some of their predators.