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The largest-ever toad was captured in Australia


Toadzilla stalks no longer. The cane toad is considered a national menace in Australia, even more than tourists from New Zealand. Cane toads were brought to Australia in the 1930s to combat invasive sugar cane beetles, but they often killed the predators who bit into the toad's highly poisonous skin glands. Cane toads don't have to snarl or bite. They just let a snake or a rat try to bite them, get a mouthful of poison. Classic passive-aggressive behavior, isn't it? Cane toads have been implicated in the decline of several native species in Australia, which is believed to now have 200 million of the amphibians - 200 million less one.

Park ranger Kylee Gray stumbled across what may be the largest toad ever recorded, 5.95 pounds. It was quickly dubbed Toadzilla, placed in a container and dispatched. The toad's brown, warty body will be donated to the Queensland Museum so schoolchildren can see it and go, ew, cool.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAMES CLARKE'S "SECOND CUT") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.