In Australiain the 1930s someone had the bright idea of importing cane toads from Hawaii to supposedly devour the small (native) cane beetles that were proving to be a big problem to Australian sugar cane growers.
102 Hawaiian cane toads were released near Cairns and elsewhere in Queensland.
Not a good decision.
Now there is estimated to be about 200 million cane toads wreaking havoc across northern Australia.
They made little or no impression on the cane beetle population, but they certainly made a disastrous impression on Australia’s wild life.
Not only do cane toads spread disease, but they are deadly poisonous to any animals which eat them (animals which previously ate the occasional native frog).
Cane toads have been responsible for killing off crocodiles, turtles, snakes, goannas and other native fauna. They have also poisoned pets and the odd human (though no human has died as a result). They have spread as far as the spectacular Kakadu National Park; a fact bordering on
The eradication of the cane toad is now in the hands of the general population as no remedy for the problem has been (yet) found.
And…now find that we are living in cane toad territory. So we must do our duty.
If there’s been a drop of rain in the evening, outside we go, with torch, gardening gloves and plastic bag and check for any ugly visitors. See a cane toad? Quickly pop it in the plastic bag (remember, we are wearing gloves to avoid their poison). The bag (with toads) is then placed in the fridge, where the toads go to sleep in the cold. When they are thoroughly asleep, we make it a bit colder for them by putting them in the freezer. That way they are gently and humanely
put to permanent sleep. A few days later the toad bodies are placed in the garbage bin, to be collected by the unsuspecting garbage collector. Cruel? I’m not sure.
Next cane toad night I’ll take the camera. Stay tuned.
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