Stunned park rangers on a north Queensland walking trail have discovered a mega toad weighing in at close to three kilos.
The gigantic creature, dubbed ‘Toadzilla’, easily eclipsed the birth weight of many newborn human babies and was found in the Conway National Park in the Whitsunday region.
The warty amphibian was 25 centimetres long and weighed in at a world record 2.7 kilograms.
According to Guinness World Records, the largest known toad was a pet called The Prince, who weighed in at 2.65kg in 1991.
Ranger Kylee Gray was part of a team conducting track work when a snake slithering across the track forced them to stop their vehicle.
As she looked down, she spotted the monster female cane toad.
“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” Ms Gray said.
“We dubbed it Toadzilla and quickly put it into a container so we could remove it from the wild.
“A cane toad that size will eat anything it can fit into its mouth and that includes insects, reptiles and small mammals.”
Toadzilla was found at an elevation of 393 metres and has created a sizeable splash among rangers.
“I’m not sure how old she is, but cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild – so this one has been around a long time,” Ms Gray said.
The toad was euthanised and will be moved to the Queensland Museum.
CANE TOAD FAST FACTS
* Introduced into Queensland in 1935 to control the cane beetle
* Recognised by the Commonwealth Government as a key threatening process to the nation under the national Environment Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999
* Obtains a large size, up to 26cm and weighing 2.5kg, but specimens of this size are rare
* Female cane toads can produce up to 30,000 eggs in a season
* Can be fatally poisonous to wildlife and have caused local extinctions of some of their predators
* The toad can be humanely euthanised by being placed in a bag or container with a secure lid in a refrigerator for a minimum of four hours to anaesthetise the toads. It can then be placed in a freezer until frozen solid – at least 24 hours.
* Authorities warn skipping the initial cooling phase could result in zombie toads with the amphibians able to survive.
Source: Queensland Department of Environment and Science