World Record-Breaking “Toadzilla” Discovered In Australian Wetlands

Queensland National Parks / Facebook

Park rangers in Australia stumbled upon a giant cane toad they’ve dubbed Toadzilla while conducting track work in Conway National Park in Queensland.

The toad was discovered on January 12 after a snake was spotted slithering across the road forcing the team to stop their vehicle. While there, leading Ranger Kylee Gray stepped out, look down, and gasp when she spotted the toad.

According NBC, Gray said, “I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was. We believe it’s a female due to the size, and female cane toads do grow bigger than males.”

The team initially considered calling the large amphibian Connie after Conway National Park, but ultimately settled on naming it after a fictional monster.

“We dubbed it Toadzilla, and quickly put it into a container so we could remove it from the wild,” Gray said in the statement.

According to the Guinness World Records, the current record held for the world’s largest toad is at 2.65 kilograms (5.8 pounds), measuring at 38 centimeters (1.3 feet) from snout to vent. The record was set in March 1991 by a cane toad owned by a Swedish man.

“When we returned to base, she weighed in at 2.7 kilograms, which could be a new record,” Gray said of the newly discovered Toadzilla.

The giant cane toad was viewed as a grave threat to its surroundings. Cane toads are one of Australia’s most invasive pests and are known to eat anything they can fit into their mouths, including insects, reptiles, and small mammals.

With this in mind, the giant toad was “humanely euthanized,” according to a statement from the Department of Environment and Science, due to the risk of environmental damage.

Toadzilla’s body was donated to the Queensland Museum for research.

The species of cane toad was introduced to Queensland state in 1935 to control the cane beetle, a pest for sugar cane plantations. They can grow up to 26 centimeters (10.2 inches) and weigh up to 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), although the department said cane toads of this size are rare.

The amphibian — often brown and encrusted with large warts — can quickly colonize habitats and be “fatally poisonous to wildlife,” according to the statement.

With no control method or biological control agent to target cane toads without harming native species, experts say the toads must laboriously be collected and removed by hand.

The cane toad has been linked to the decline and extinction of several of its predators, including the northern quoll — also known as the northern Australian native cat — which is now endangered in northern Australia, according to the group.

More On The Story In The Video Below