Hitchhiking toad to be put down

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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 - A toad that hopped inside a porcelain candlestick in China and made its way to Cape Town will be put down, the Star reported on Thursday.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA's Brett Glasby told the newspaper that it was not unusual to find animals that “hitch-hike” but that they have never found a toad.

“We've had snakes in the imported timber, scorpions in fruit. We were called because it was right inside the candlestick and we had to break it to get it out,” he said.

Glasby said the toad has an adaptation mechanism which includes their skin hardening to prevent it from drying out, their heart rate and breathing slowing down, to survive in time of drought.

“When water touches this hard casing the skin it goes soft and sloughs off,” he told The Star.

He said the toad was also hungry and staff fed it worms and crickets.

The toad will have to be put down as it is a potentially invasive creature and poses a threat to the indigenous frogs, according to the report.

Scientific manager at CapeNature, Andrew Turner, identified the toad as the Asian Common Toad.

The toad is not endangered. - Sapa

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