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Killer Toad Found In New Providence

A female cane toad

A female cane toad

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

AN INVASIVE species of toad with mucus poison enough to kill small animals has been discovered in western New Providence.

The Cane Toad, which can produce around 30,000 eggs at once and possibly twice in its life cycle, was identified on August 8, 2013 by a Lyford Cay resident who then notified the Bahamas National Trust (BNT). 

A Cane Toad responds to threat by turning side-on so its glands are directed towards the attacker. The poison usually oozes out of the glands, but toads can squirt a fine spray for a short distance if they are handled roughly.

Although the toad identified was captured and killed shortly afterwards,  Minister of the Environment Kenred Dorsett said yesterday there were further sightings and possible breeding within the Lyford Cay pond.

He could not say how the toad made its way to New Providence.

Residents throughout the island are being cautioned to avoid making contact with the toad as it can cause severe skin irritation or death if eaten.

Officials also urge persons to avoid leaving pet food outside as it is a favourite food of the toad.

Several biology websites have said the Cane Toad eats anything it can swallow including beetles, honey bees, ants, winged termites, crickets and bugs. Occasionally, it may consume marine snails, smaller toads, native frogs, small snakes, and small mammals.

Mr Dorsett said: “We are unable to definitively say how long the Cane Toads have been here. Despite anecdotal reports of possible Cane Toad sightings outside of the Lyford Cay area -  Charlotteville, Adelaide and St Alban’s Drive - these are all unconfirmed so we generally think they are still confined to the Lyford Cay area.

Nevertheless, the public should be on alert for sightings of this toad.

“Evidence of reproduction within freshwater and brackish ponds was uncovered. Bodies of waters were sampled by the Department of Environmental Health services and the pond where tadpoles were observed was chemically treated.”

Officials at the BNT said in order to control the species, which has been described as a ‘good hitchhiker’ and stowaway in packages, all life stages including eggs, tadpoles and adults have to be captured and killed. The toad is also known for burrowing into soil.

If not there is the potential for them to reproduce and spread quickly throughout the Bahamas, said BNT Director of Science and Policy Vanessa Haley-Benjamin.

“Worst case scenario, based on reports from Australia, the Cane Toad has the ability to travel about 10km in the first year and then it starts to speed up because of natural selection it can then travel up to 30 to 40km so we are talking about 6 to 40 miles in a year. So imagine Nassau - that means it will completely cover Nassau,” she said.

If there is a sighting of the toad do not, officials said, take it from where it was sighted, attempt to sell it to a pet shop or try to collect a pair - male and female. 

The BNT said that if toxin get on the skin, an open wound or into eyes, seek medical attention.

For pets look out for drooling, head shaking, crying, loss of coordination and in more serious instances, convulsions. 

The dog’s or cat’s gums often turn red which is an indicator used by veterinarians to distinguish toad poisoning.

Nevertheless, the public should be on alert for sightings of this toad.

“Evidence of reproduction within freshwater and brackish ponds was uncovered. Bodies of waters were sampled by the Department of Environmental Health services and the pond where tadpoles were observed was chemically treated.”

Officials at the BNT said in order to control the species, which has been described as a ‘good hitchhiker’ and stowaway in packages, all life stages including eggs, tadpoles and adults have to be captured and killed. The toad is also known for burrowing into soil.

If not there is the potential for them to reproduce and spread quickly throughout the Bahamas, said BNT Director of Science and Policy Vanessa Haley-Benjamin.

“Worst case scenario, based on reports from Australia, the Cane Toad has the ability to travel about 10km in the first year and then it starts to speed up because of natural selection it can then travel up to 30 to 40km so we are talking about 6 to 40 miles in a year. So imagine Nassau - that means it will completely cover Nassau,” she said.

If there is a sighting of the toad do not, officials said, take it from where it was sighted, attempt to sell it to a pet shop or try to collect a pair - male and female. 

The BNT said that if toxin get on the skin, an open wound or into eyes, seek medical attention.

For pets look out for drooling, head shaking, crying, loss of coordination and in more serious instances, convulsions. 

The dog’s or cat’s gums often turn red which is an indicator used by veterinarians to distinguish toad poisoning.

Comments

SP 1 year, 1 month ago

This story is being removed from the internet expeditiously because high profile Lyford Cay residents are well known to be guilty of importing all manner of things through Bahamas Customs by tipping these corrupt buffoons.

I have witnessed Lyford Cay residents for many years operating outside of the law with impunity, bribing corrupt Customs officers while bringing in everything and anything imaginable, without going through proper protocols.

These “high end” criminals travel by private aircraft and bribe Customs officers upon arrival to turn a blind eye when importing exotic plants, fruits and animals from various countries.

They are the same people that think it is their natural born right to routinely degrade Bahamians and speak poorly of us at any and all given opportunities, but think it is “just peachy” to break importation laws for their own benefit to the detriment of the country.

The Bahamas is being systematically destroyed from the bottom up by Haitians, Latino's and Asians and from the top down by Lyford Cay expats and many “uppity” Bahamian citizens that have absolutely no regard for the laws of this country as long as they can bribe greedy corrupt Customs officers with a few hundred dollars.

The Ministry of Agriculture need to simply carry out inspections of properties in Lyford Cay, Old Fort Bay, Ocean Club and Port New Providence to discover who these white collar criminals are. And prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law as the average citizen would be as well.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 1 month ago

Enforce all laws. Weed out corruption. We just need 40yrs of real leaders with the guts to do it.

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SeaStar 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Hmm, well I hope we follow suit with America and relax a few laws!

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Tarzan 1 year, 1 month ago

I have it on good authority (the factual support being expeditiously removed from the internet) that Lyford Cay residents were spotted on the grassy knoll on that fateful day in Dallas; that they planned and executed the attacks on 9/11; and, that they roam the streets of N.P. at night committing robberies and shootings.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 1 month ago

Yes! Lyford Cay conspirators are toadying! But why? Are they smuggling toads to start a war in the middle-east not to mention an outbreak of warts?

Chinese and American Ex-Pats are mixed up in this? Surely, but what about Aurich Goldfinger?

What of those reports that Goldfinger secretly commandeered the Delaporte Point Forward Scatter Station to scramble communications with the States?

Didn't Dr. No mastermind this sinister toads-for-war plot from his yacht, the Disco Volante, his floating command post anchored in Nassau Harbor?

What about last week's report that Dr. No built a secret underground bunker beneath The Caves, in which he plans to hoard tons of toads, for reasons too vulgar to reveal in a family column?

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 1 month ago

Tarzan -

Agree. Excellent report. The Lyford Cay rogues were just getting warmed up with the grassy knoll and 9/11 attacks.

Credible intel indicates the Secret Lyford Cay Cabal plans to attack the mid-east using millions of toads hatched in Dr. No's secret underground bunker located beneath Forward Scatter out at Delaporte Point.

Credible informants inside Dr. No's sinister organization say that Aurich Goldfinger financed the Lyford Cay plot with gold heisted from Fort Knox.

Swarms of toads are reportedly swimming to New Providence from the Fukushima reactor in Japan, apparently using East End Lighthouse as a homing beacon.

More intel to follow as reports come in. Please keep al confidential.

Thank you. Yours in satire,

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

@SP Don,t you hate that ,Hatians ,Latino,s ,Asian,s ,Lyford cay ex pats , and uppity Bahamians are responsible for your lot in life , and it is such an all encompassing conspiracy that there is nothing you can do about it but complain on the internet ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,/of course i,m being sarcastic /

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SeaStar 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Those customs officers you speak of sound like the problem by the way you describe it. Actually, I was told by a BNT employee the frogs likely came in through a soil or tree shipment. We have little to no resources to check through all the shipments that enter our country. Before you go accusing people of crimes without proof, do a little research.

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

The wild part about SP claim is it says the toads were found by lyford cay..there is no evidence of any ex pat smuggling in toads ..its like people who claim Atlantis is responsible for the lion fish , i,ve even heard them tell tourist this .They are usually PLP,S that don,t like Atlantis b/c the FNM brought it here or xenophobes .AS a fisherman i can tell you lion fish were here before atlantis .Most of the species that are not from here get here in bilges of large ships inadvertitly

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 1 month ago

Another logical and most plausible explanation re bilges of large ships. Very common means by which invasive species get around.

It does seem the old PLP grudge against FNM for Atlantis is behind some of this Lyford Cay conspiracy stuff.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 1 month ago

A lot of the finger wagging at Lyford Cay et al does seem to be the PLP nursing yet another old grudge, doesn't it?

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

Many Lyford Cay residents own boats and other craft that they take to Florida and other parts of the world. The cane frog could have innocently hitch hiked a ride back here. But when they say more than one was spotted then that leads to another question...

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

What about the near million containers a year that go through freeport ,what about the number of large fuel vessels that come to Clfton pier after having contact wl fuel suppliers from around the globe ,,

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banker 1 year, 1 month ago

There was a tarantula spider in my yard a couple of months ago. Scared the beejeezus out of me. At first I thought that it was the world's biggest cockroach when I saw it moving from the corner of my eye.

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lazybor 1 year, 1 month ago

This pretty animal well represents our nation

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jt 1 year, 1 month ago

These toads rode in legally on S. Florida landscaping trees (where they are already well established), just like the corn snakes and millipedes before them. Please, though, do dial 919 the next time you have a wealthy expat toad smuggler in your sights. I'm sure it happens all the time.

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paul_vincent_zecchino 1 year, 1 month ago

Seems like the most logical explanation. Thanks.

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MartGM 1 year, 1 month ago

Those darn millipedes are such a nuisance!!

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jt 1 year, 1 month ago

The lionfish introduction was a well documented escape from Miami Seaquarium during Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

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SP 1 year, 1 month ago

Everyone here blind and stupid enough to believe that these people traveling by private planes and yachts do not have many border officers in their hip pockets and all go through proper protocol with Customs, Immigration and Agriculture deserve to be led by the "one man band".

Indeed to believe such a farfetched fairytale is also to believe our borders are airtight with no corruption in Customs, Agriculture or Immigration.

In fact they would have to be the sole entities in the entire country that functioned properly and where no corruption exists!

However, it might also be possible that what I thought I witnessed on numerous occasions over the last 5 years were actually holograms.

My Bad??

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concernedcitizen 1 year, 1 month ago

Your right , i,m sure there is a large organized crime syndicate in Lyford cay whose main goal is to smuggle killer toads into the country . The crooked customs officers prentend not to notice as they pass through the line w/ "ribbets" emminating from their pockets and luggage ...lmfao

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banker 1 year, 1 month ago

Don't suck the poison out. It might actually improve the food at the Double Dragon. I ordered the mixed appetizer plate, and couldn't tell the difference between any of them. They were all lumpy bits of battered, deep-fried in diesel, bits of who knows what.

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John 1 year, 1 month ago

WAS watching FOX`news this morning. They showed a clip where a NASA launched a rocket last night. Cameras on the rocket showed a frog attached to the side of the rocket. When the rocket got several thousand feet into the air the frog took a 'leap of fate" ...Where did he land and did he survive...remember Lyford Cay is not too far from Cape Canerval..

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bismark 1 year, 1 month ago

we are a country that relies heavily on foreign imports,not only can a small creature like the cane toad can come in the country,alot of other animals have got in that way also,it happens,the Bahamas is very isolated in many parts of the archipelago,who knows what other invasive species is out there?

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