Dog-Sized Toadzilla Captured

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 27th, 2007

Giant Cane Toad

The Associated Press is reporting in breaking news dispatches this morning that the environmental group Frogwatch has found a toad the size of a small dog. They captured the 15-inch-long cane toad (Bufo marinus) during a raid on a pond outside the northern city of Darwin, Australia, late Monday, March 26, 2007.

Frogwatch says the toad is the size of a football (they don’t identify what kind, but the Australian organization’s spokesperson is probably talking about what we Americans call a “soccer ball.”) The toad weighs 2 pounds, and is among the largest specimens ever captured in Australia, according to Frogwatch coordinator Graeme Sawyer.

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

The toxic cane toads were imported from South America during the 1930s in a failed attempt to control beetles on Australia’s northern sugar cane plantations. (A similar cane toad problem has developed in the recent past in Florida.) 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. Frogwatch’s “Toad Buster” project is dedicated to wiping them out.

We kill them with carbon dioxide gas, stockpile them in a big freezer and then put them through a liquid fertilizer process [which results in a product that is nontoxic.] It turns out to be sensational fertilizer. Graeme Sawyer

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

16 Responses to “Dog-Sized Toadzilla Captured”

  1. Ranatemporaria responds:

    I cant believe this is a male! Their usually half the size, I also cant believe they didn’t squash it on site as is the custom since they became so prevalent and destructive!
    Theres a video on bbc:-

  2. Fred Facker responds:

    Wow. That is big.

    It looks like it’s about the chomp on that guy’s thumb.

  3. CryptoGoji responds:

    Big toad. Hope PETA doesnt read that last line about the fertilizer making process.

  4. Raptorial responds:

    That’s really big for a can toad. I’ve seen pictures of goliath frogs around that size, but never a cane toad.

  5. Bob Michaels responds:

    If they can remove the poison glands perhaps they can become a delicacy much like blowfish.

  6. dws responds:


  7. JustinC responds:

    It says they are killing them with carbon dioxide.. Dosen’t that just make things pass out, then die sort of humanely? Dosen’t seem too harsh on the toads.. PETA may not attack..

  8. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone wow now thats a realy big frog in the sence of term. i hope this frog researched in the right manner without killing it but to protect it from harm. thanks bill

  9. mystery_man responds:

    That certainly is a big, big toad.

  10. Rillo777 responds:

    Importing poisonous toads–who thought of that brilliant idea?

  11. mystery_man responds:

    Well, Rillo777, there have been a lot of species that were imported for various purposes that seemed like a good idea at the time. A lot of times, the effects that the species will have on the ecosystem are not seen or even guessed at until it is too late, even if you have done your homework on the species in question. So many factors can be involved that there often is no telling how a non native species will behave or what effect it will have in a new ecosystem. Although the species was brought over with the best intentions, it sometimes ends up becomeing a major problem. You also might be suprised how little thought is given to this possibility in some cases before some of these species are introduced.

  12. MBFH responds:

    I read about this big bugger today and hoped he’d make an appearance here. Linked to this is an interesting story about how native snakes have adapted/evolved to cope with these aliens!

  13. youcantryreachingme responds:

    The size may be incorrectly reported. I’ve seen it here reported as 15 inches, in a European newspaper as 18 inches, but in the first story I found, run by Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, it reported 20 centimeters (about 8 inches).

    This would be from snout to vent, not counting extended legs (which is perhaps where the larger figures are coming from).

    According to Wikipedia though, the largest cane toad caught in Australia was a whopping 38 centimetres (15 inches) and 2.65kg (5.84lb).


  14. mystery_man responds:

    MBFH- Really interesting article in that link you posted! Thanks for putting that up.

  15. kamoeba responds:

    I loved the headline stating that it was the size of a small dog. I think it makes the average person picture a toad about 3 feet (or about 1 meter) long. Sure, the toad’s large size is surprising, but equally surprising to me would be an 8-inch long dog. Thanks again, mass media, for blowing things out of proportion.

  16. cradossk responds:

    Rillo777 – the cane toad was introduced to Australia (north Queensland to be specific) in 1935 in an attempt at biological control. (the accidentally introduced Cane beetle was happily chomping away at our sugar cane crops – so, with the Toad being the natural arch enemy of the beetle, it would have seemed like a good idea).

    Too bad the toads quickly figured out that native reptiles, frogs and insects were much easier to catch than those pesky cane beetles, and too bad the native predators (eg. snakes, birds, goannas, etc) didn’t figure out that this seemingly large, tasty morsel was also poisonous.

    The cane toad has now spread across the north of Australia, and can be found in almost all coastal areas of the northern territory and northern Queensland.

    I’ve actually seen recently (as in, 5 years ago) dead cane toads on their backs, with their guts eaten out, but their poison sacks intact. The predators are learning how to eat them…. *enter spooky music*

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