Florida, like other tropical environments has some peculiar wildlife, both native and introduced. The introduced kind seems to cause the most problems. The photo is of a Cane Toad, or Bufo Toad. The one I found in my driveway is currently residing in my freezer.
I am not necessarily fond of amphibians in my freezer or the unnecessary demise of wildlife. I had been warned about these toads, called Giant Killer Toads in the media, but had not seen one in my yard until recently. This is a toad that can literally kill your dog or cat. They were introduced to Florida to eat sugar cane pests. I have read they came from Puerto Rico or Australia.
The toads have large poison filled glands on either side that they shoot when disturbed. It is highly toxic to pets causing seizures and heart problems and eventually death if not treated.
A toad hopped into my Living Room the other night after my husband went out the side door. One of my greyhounds was sitting there looking at it when it dawned on me what it might be. I threw it out in the yard and went online to find a picture to identify it.
Sure enough, it was a Bufo Toad. My husband had gone to sleep so I was running around in my driveway (in my bathrobe) trying to capture the toad with a plastic tub. I managed to get the tub over him and decided to read up on the toads until morning. The following morning the toad was gone.
photo by Bill Waller, from Wikimedia Commons
Having seen the interest my dog had in the toad I decided the best course was to get rid of it if I ever saw it again. After researching the most humane way to achieve this (chilling the toad until it falls asleep, then freezing it for at least two days because they can reanimate?!) And people imported these things voluntarily.
Last night we came home after dark and there was the toad sitting in the driveway. My husband picked it up, got sprayed with the venom (wearing gloves) and put it in a bucket. I chilled the bucket and left it alone for a couple of hours to find that the toad had indeed gone to sleep. Then I triple bagged it and stowed it in the freezer.
That is how I came to have a toad in my freezer.