Globetrotting toad has a cave to call home

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iol scitech dec 20 hitchhiking toad INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (File photo) An Asian Toad was brought into the Grassy Park SPCA. It is held here by Brett Glasby, Wild Life Unit Manager at Cape of Goodhope SPCA. Picture: Courtney Africa

Cape Town - He has a pond, a buffet of crickets and his own little cave. It’s a far cry from the ceramic candlestick Jack B Nimble, the Asian toad, used to call home.

After spending a lonely Christmas in quarantine, the well-travelled toad has finally secured his own piece of real estate at the Montecasino Bird Gardens’ Frog Room in Joburg.

“He’s doing well and seems happy,” said reptile curator John Baldwin.

The young toad was discovered in December when staff at retailer Mr Price reported that a frog’s leg was sticking out from the bottom of a candlestick.

SPCA wildlife unit manager Brett Glasby said at the time the amphibian could have been confined in the candlestick anywhere between one and three months.

Particular species of toads are able to survive for ages without food or water because their skin can harden allowing them to retain vital liquids.

It is believed Jack stowed away in the candlestick while in mainland China and travelled more than 12 000km before ending up in the Mother City.


Despite the slippery traveller’s amazing story of survival his life was still on the line.

Fearing that he might introduce pathogens to Western Cape amphibians, Cape Nature wanted to euthanise him.

But two hours before he was destined for the “hangman’s noose” he was saved: Montecasino Bird Gardens accepted him.

Since Jack arrived in Joburg on December 23 he has spent time in quarantine and been checked for parasites and pathogens.

This week he was given the all clear.

Baldwin said Jack has been given an enclosure and “has peat moss, a water bowl and rocks that we’ve arranged to form a cave”. Jack will be on display to anyone visiting the gardens. - Cape Argus

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