Australian park rangers have been shocked by the size of a toad they found on the ground at Conway National Park in Queensland, Australia. Kylee Gray was one of the rangers that day who were driving in a wild rainforest when they saw a large snake of some sort slithering across the floor. When they stopped to see it, it was unlike anything she had seen before.
She was holding a monster cane toad that she believes could be the largest of its kind in the world. This was the first time Gray met the large, poisonous amphibian she’d soon be calling “Toadzilla.”
“I reached down and grabbed the cane toad and couldn’t believe how big and heavy it was,” she said in a statement issued by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science. The toad weighed in at what’s believed to be a record-breaking 5.95 pounds — compared to an average weight of 1 pound.
The rangers believe it is a female toad, and while they don’t know how old it is, “this one has been around a long time,” Gray said. Cane toads can live up to 15 years in the wild. “We believe it’s a female due to the size, and female cane toads do grow bigger than males,” Gray added.
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. Gray said she considered naming the toad “Connie.” But upon further consideration, Gray said, she thought that instead of a Connie, the cane toad looked more like a “Godzilla.”
Toadzilla was viewed as a grave threat to its surroundings much like its name. Cane toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control cane beetles and other pests but their population exploded and with no natural predators they have become a threat to Australian species.
“A cane toad that size will eat anything it can fit into its mouth, and that includes insects, reptiles, and small mammals,” Gray said.
The rangers quickly put the toad in a container to remove it from the wild and euthanize it. “We’re pleased to have removed her from the national park,” Gray said.