March 28, 2007 in Nation/World

Australians capture 2-pound ‘monster’ toad

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 
Associated Press photo

Graeme Sawyer holds a 15-inch-long cane toad near Darwin, Australia, on Monday. Weighing nearly 2 pounds, the toad is among the largest specimens captured in Australia.
(Full-size photo)

DARWIN, Australia – An environmental group said Tuesday it had captured a “monster” toad the size of a small dog.

With a body the size of a football and weighing nearly 2 pounds, the toad is among the largest specimens ever captured in Australia, according to Frogwatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer.

“It’s huge, to put it mildly,” he said. “The biggest toads are usually females but this one was a rampant male … I would hate to meet his big sister.”

Frogwatch, which is dedicated to wiping out a toxic toad species that has killed countless Australian animals, picked up the 15-inch-long cane toad during a raid on a pond outside the northern city of Darwin late Monday.

Cane toads were imported from South America during the 1930s in a failed attempt to control beetles on Australia’s northern sugar cane plantations. The poisonous toads have proven deadly to Australia’s delicate ecosystems, killing millions of native animals from snakes to the small crocodiles that eat them.


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