Gigantic Cane Toad Found, Promptly Euthanized

'Toadzilla' may be a record-setter
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2023 10:13 AM CST
Updated Jan 22, 2023 10:45 AM CST

If this toad is so big it looks fake to you, you're not alone: Wildlife officers reportedly felt the same way. While patrolling a rainforest in Queensland, Australia, rangers had to stop their vehicle upon finding a snake blocking the path. When they got out to take a closer look, they were in for a shock: Park ranger Kylee Gray spied a stunning cane toad, which she describes as looking "almost like a football with legs." The amphibian was dubbed Toadzilla, captured, and weighed, clocking in at 5.95 pounds, or nearly the weight of a newborn human, per AFP.

The BBC notes that the current Guinness World Record for biggest toad is for a creature found in Sweden in 1991 that weighed about a tenth of a pound less, meaning this one could be a record-setter. But it won't get to revel in its potential fame: the toad has been euthanized "due to the environmental damage they cause," per a tweet from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. That's standard practice there, as toads are an invasive species that "can be fatally poisonous to wildlife [and] have caused local extinctions of some of their predators," the department adds in a press release.

The toads were introduced in 1935 to control the cane beetle population, with unintended consequences. The release notes that females—Toadzilla was believed to be one, as they grow bigger than males—can produce as many as 30,000 eggs in a season. The BBC reports the specimen will be donated to the Queensland Museum. (More cane toad stories.)

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