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Wed Apr 01 07:50:26 SAST 2015

From China to Cape Town, travelling toad to be put down

Sapa | 20 December, 2012 08:28
Asian Common Toad. File picture.
Image by: Lokionly /Wikimedia Commons

A toad that hopped inside a porcelain candlestick in China and made its way to Cape Town will be put down.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA's Brett Glasby told The Star 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.

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