Was Toadzilla the biggest toad of all time?

Massive amphibian found in north Australian rainforest was ‘like a football with legs’

Toadzilla the cane toad
As a pest with no natural predators in Australia the toad was euthanised
(Image credit: Queensland Department of Environment and Science)

Park rangers in Australia believe they discovered a record-breaking giant toad deep in the north Queensland rainforest.

The colossal cane toad was stumbled upon by “shocked” ranger Kylee Gray during a patrol in Conway National Park in Queensland, reported Reuters.

Together with her colleagues, she caught the amphibian and weighed it, discovering it came in at 2.7kg (6lb). The Guinness World Records lists the largest toad at 2.65kg (5lb 14oz), a long-standing record set in 1991 by a Swedish pet.

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The rangers had initially considered naming the female toad Connie after the national park, but due to her massive size “Toadzilla” was chosen instead, noted ITV News.

“A cane toad that size will eat anything it can fit into its mouth and that includes insects, reptiles and small mammals,” Gray said. Speaking to ABC News, she said the toad looked “almost like a football with legs”.

Gray said she wasn’t sure how old Toadzilla was – “the species can live up to 15 years in the wild”, according to the BBC – but believes she has “been around a long time”.

Senior park ranger Barry Nolan told Reuters that the toad, a member of an invasive species that is considered a threat to Australia’s ecosystem, was killed due to its “ecological impact”.

Cane toads are capable of poisoning predators that try to eat them. Female cane toads “can produce up to 30,000 eggs in a season”, noted Al Jazeera.

There is “no broadscale way to control” cane toads, said the Australian government. They are now found throughout northern Australia and are moving westward at an estimated range of 40 to 60km (approximately 25 to 37 miles) per year, it added.

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

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.