She’s toxic, weighs as much as some newborn babies and was found in the wilds of Australia’s far north.
A giant cane toad, dubbed “Toadzilla”, that was found by rangers in Queensland’s Conway national park on Thursday, is believed to be the largest of her species ever found.
Ranger Kylee Gray was walking in the national park and had stopped to let a snake slither across the track when she saw the enormous toad.
“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” she said.
“We dubbed it Toadzilla, and quickly put it into a container so we could remove it from the wild.”
Cane toads, which can normally grow to around 15cm in size, are one of Australia’s most notorious invasive species and are considered a threat to native wildlife. They have colonised a wide variety of habitats across north-eastern Australia after they were introduced into Queensland in 1935 to control the cane beetle.
The brown, warty toads can be fatally poisonous to wildlife and have caused local extinctions of some of their predators. They also compete with native species for shelter and resources.
The Guinness World Record for the largest toad in history is 2.65kg, found in 1991.
The rangers who found “Toadzilla” took it back to their base and weighed it. She tipped the scales at 2.7kg, which could be a new record.
“A cane toad that size will eat anything it can fit into its mouth, and that includes insects, reptiles and small mammals,” Gray said.
“She was found at an elevation of 393 metres, which isn’t unusual, but she has created a lot of interest among our ranger staff due to her size,” she added.
“The Queensland Museum is interested in taking her, as she might be the largest on record.”
Gray said she was not sure how old Toadzilla is, but suspected it had been around for a “long time”.
“Cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild – so this one has been around a long time. We’re pleased to have removed her from the national park.”