Krikey! Huge Toad Has Aussies on the Hunt

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

A cane toad the size of a small dog was captured in Darwin on Monday by an environmental group dedicated to wiping out the toxic amphibians which have killed countless animals since being introduced to Australia in the 1930s.

The volunteer-run organisation, Frogwatch, picked up the 40-centimetre (15-inch) long cane toad during a raid on a pond outside the northern city of Darwin late on Monday.

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

"I'd say (it's) probably four, or five-years-old. And when you look at the size comparison between that and what they start out as, it just makes you realise how much native wildlife has gone the tube to create it," Sawyer said.

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 fatal to Australia's delicate ecosystems, killing millions of native animals from snakes to the small crocodiles that eat them.

As part of its so-called 'Toad Buster' project, Frogwatch conducts regular raids on local water holes, blinding the toads with bright lights then scooping them up by the dozen.

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