Massive cane toad in Australian park, ‘Toadzilla,’ a record-breaker – USA TODAY

A new “King of the Toads” discovered by Australian park rangers has been christened “Toadzilla” – and may lay claim to the coveted title of world’s biggest toad. 

Toadzilla, believed to be a female, was found deep in Conway National Park rainforest on Jan. 12 by park rangers who were  “shocked” to find the animal while on patrol. 

Ranger Kylee Gray and her colleagues weighed the amphibian, which came in at a record-breaking 6 pounds. The last record, according to Guinness World Records, was set in 1991 by a Swedish pet toad at 5.8 pounds.

Gray’s colleague, senior park ranger Barry Nolan, told Reuters the creature – an invasive cane toad that poses a threat to Australia’s ecosystem – was euthanized like most other toads across Australia. 

Cane toad dubbed "Toadzilla" and believed by Australian park rangers to be the world's biggest toad is held by Queensland Department of Environment and Science Ranger Kylee Gray, in Conway National Park, Queensland, Australia January 12, 2023.

Cane toads’ population exploded in Australia after they were introduced in 1935 to control cane beetles and other pests because they faced no natural predators, Nolan told the outlet.

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“A female cane toad like potentially Toadzilla would lay up to 35,000 eggs. So their capacity to reproduce is quite staggering. And all parts of the cane toad’s breeding cycle are poisonous to Australian native species, so prevention is a big part of how we need to manage them,” he said.

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

Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team. 

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