Wet weather her­alds the start of cane toad breed­ing

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

IT WAS a case of cane toad in the head­lights last week­end as down­pours from then ex-Tropical Cy­clone Owen pro­duced a horde of warty pests strewn across the re­gion’s roads.

As wet weather made for per­fect breed­ing con­di­tions, vet­eri­nary nurse Lara Mit­ton said it was com­mon to no­tice an in­crease in cane toad pres­ence.

“They breed in the wet, in the pud­dles.

“The more water there is around the more they’re go­ing to be com­ing out to mate and to lay eggs,” Ms Mit­ton said.

“They tend to hang around the roads to eat the in­sects which hang around the head­lights.”

But as the toxic toads show up in back­yards and on doorsteps, pet own­ers will need to take mea­sures to pro­tect their pets.

An­i­mals who lick or eat cane toads could show symp­toms of poi­son­ing such as froth­ing at the mouth, red, slimy gums, vom­it­ing, tremors and un­con­scious­ness.

Ms Mit­ton said own­ers should wipe their pet’s mouth with a wet sponge or towel then take them to a vet­eri­nary clinic.

If they fall un­con­scious, they should be taken im­me­di­ately.

When it comes to dis­pos­ing of the cane toads, Ms Mit­ton said the most hu­mane method was pop­ping them in the freezer.

“Place them in a plas­tic bag in the freezer,” she said. They just drift off to sleep.”

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