Australian park rangers say ‘Toadzilla’ could be the largest toad in the world

SYDNEY, Jan. 20 (Reuters) – Australian park rangers believe they have encountered a record-breaking giant toad deep in a rainforest.

The so-called “Toadzilla,” the cane toad, an invasive species that threatens Australia’s ecosystem, was spotted by “shocked” park ranger Kylee Gray while on patrol in Conway National Park, Queensland, on Jan. 12.

Gray and her colleagues caught the animal and brought it back to their office, where it weighed 2.7 kg.

Guinness World Records lists the largest toad at 2.65 kg (5.8 pounds), a 1991 record held by a Swedish pet.

“We considered naming her Connie after Conway National Park, but Toadzilla was the one who kept getting kicked out, so that stuck,” Gray told state broadcaster ABC Friday.

Gray’s colleague, senior park ranger Barry Nolan, told Reuters the animal was euthanized because of its “ecological impact” – the usual fate for the toads across Australia.

Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control reed beetles and other pests, but their population exploded, and with no natural predators, they’ve become a threat to Australian species, Nolan said.

“A female cane toad like the potential Toadzilla would lay up to 35,000 eggs. So their ability to reproduce is quite amazing. And all parts of the cane toad’s reproductive cycle are toxic to Australian native species, so prevention is a big part of how we they have to manage,” he said.

Toadzilla’s body was donated to the Queensland Museum for research.

Reporting by James Redmayne and Joseph Campbell Edited by Alasdair Pal, Robert Birsel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Principles of Trust.

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