As she picked up the creature, she was holding a monster cane toad, which she believes may be the largest of its kind in the world. This was Gray’s first time meeting the large, venomous amphibian she would soon name “Toadzilla”.
“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” she said in one expression Published by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.
After weighing the cane toad (nearly six pounds) and concluding it was a female since they weigh more than their male counterparts, Gray said she was considering naming the toad “Connie.” But on further consideration, Gray said she thought that instead of a Connie, the cane toad looked more like a “Godzilla,” the fictional monster wreaking havoc in Japan.
“We christened it Toadzilla and quickly put it in a container so we could remove it from the wild,” Gray said.
Now Australian officials are trying to determine if Toadzilla could be the largest of its kind. When the Rangers on the 1st 12, they weighed Toadzilla at 5.95 pounds, which could be a world record. The heaviest toad ever was measured in March 1991 when Prinsen, a pet cane toad in Sweden, weighed 5.13 pounds and measured 1 foot 9 inches when fully extended Guinness World Records.
While Toadzilla’s age is unclear, cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild, leading park officials to believe “this one has been around for a long time.”
“Because of her size, she has attracted a lot of interest from our ranger staff,” Gray said in a statement.
Native to South America and mainland Central America, the cane toad was introduced to Queensland in 1935 to control the field beetle population. However, in the decades since its introduction, not only has the amphibian failed to control insects, it has also become one of the world’s worst invasive species. Cane toads, which average nearly three pounds in weight, have been “remarkably successful in reproduction and dispersal,” according to the report. National Geographic.
The species is now estimated in the millions in Australia, with a range of thousands of square miles in the north-eastern part of the country research from the University of Western Australia.
The cane toad’s diet consists primarily of insects, but it will eat almost anything, including reptiles, birds, and even small mammals.
“They are opportunists,” Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science said in a press release about Toadzilla.
The warty amphibian can secrete a milky toxin from the parotid glands behind its shoulders that can be deadly to wildlife. Cane toads are also particularly dangerous to dogs, which bite the amphibian and ingest the toxin.
“Eating a cane toad will result in the toxin being absorbed much faster than just licking it, so if your dog has bitten or eaten a cane toad, it’s important that you take them to a veterinarian right away,” it says it Greencross vets in Australia.
Despite the excitement and curiosity surrounding the giant cane toad, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science continued to announce Twitter that Toadzilla “was euthanized due to the environmental damage they are causing”. Toadzilla has now been brought to the Queensland Museum to further investigate whether she is in fact the largest known cane toad in the world.
“We’re glad to have them removed from the national park,” Gray said.