Rangers in Conway National Park were dumfounded when they stumbled upon a cane toad so huge, they thought it was a joke. The “toadzilla,” however, was very much real, the monstrous amphibian tipping the scales at a whopping six pounds.
The animal kingdom ranges from barely visible creatures all the way to the titan of the sea, the blue whale. And, depending on your definition of the word, there are adorable critters at every weight class.
Then there are animals like the cane toad, who, while impressive in sheer size alone, no one could call cuddly.
Far larger than your average frog, cane toads reach six inches in length with ease, weighing around three pounds on average. Their large, squat bodies are topped with bony heads covered in bony ridges that give the amphibians a constant scowl.
But while a regular cane toad is far from inviting, it’s downright charming compared to the gargantuan creature pulled from the mud in Conway National Park. Ranger Kylee Gray was so taken aback by the bizarre sight that she assumed someone was pranking her. Until she noticed the impossibly large toad was breathing, that is.
“A big warty, brown, ugly cane toad just sitting in the dirt,” she told ABC News. “I just couldn’t believe it to be honest — I’ve never seen anything so big.”
Rangers Believe Their ‘Toadzilla’ Cane Toad Was a World Record-Breaker
When Conway National Park rangers hit the trails for the day, they had no intention of seeking out cane toads, which made their discovery of Toadzilla all the more shocking. “There was a red-belly black snake on the track in front of us,” Gray recalled. “So we stopped to let the snake pass and got out of the vehicle and right next to us was this huge cane toad.”
After shouting to her supervisor to alert him of the colossal toad, the ranger reached down and picked it up. And it was then that she got the full scope of its massive size. The toad was so heavy she could hardly believe it. According to Guinness World Records, the heaviest toad on record weighed in at 5.84 pounds in 1991. This one was even heavier.
Unfortunately, the 6-pound cane toad doesn’t qualify for a World Record, as the rangers didn’t get its weight certified. “We didn’t get it on certified scales,” Gray said. “So we’re sort of kicking ourselves. We dubbed it Toadzilla.”
After measuring and documenting the elephantine amphibian, the rangers euthanized it. Sadly, cane toads’ undesirable nature doesn’t stop with their appearance. In addition to closely resembling “mobile cow pies,” they’re an invasive species, causing severe damage to the ecosystems on which they intrude.
“A cane toad will eat anything it can fit into its mouth,” Gray said. “And that includes insects, reptiles, and small mammals.”