"I bought a BB gun and a flashlight and just started looking."
Man vs. Toad
Sometimes, you just have to take things into your own hands.
As Tampa Bay news channel WTSP reports, a Florida man named Joshua Hughes has put himself on the front lines of Florida's battle against invasive cane toads, taking to the streets of the city of Lutz, Florida with a BB gun to take out the poisonous invaders. Cane toads are a growing problem in Florida; like other invasive species, they disrupt the local ecosystems, and though the poison they secrete is mostly just irritating to humans, it can be fatal for a number of animals, including beloved family pets like cats and dogs.
"I was informed of a real serious invasion on this pond as far as cane toads," Hughes told WTSP. "So, I bought a BB gun and a flashlight and just started looking."
Wearing a "Joshua's Pressure Washing & Much More" t-shirt, Hughes explained that on his very first night of the hunt, he'd killed over 60 of the noxious hoppers in a swift one-hour run. In the past three months, he told WTSP, he's killed well over 100.
"I've counted them," he told the outlet, "there are about 120 that I've killed."
Really putting the "& Much More" in his business model, we see. Seriously though, gotta hand it to the guy. Cane toads are very bad — Toadzilla notwithstanding, may her royal largeness rest in peace — and any effort to remove them from the region is nothing short of a public service.
Hughes did note to WTSP that he first took to gathering the toads and freezing them — a more humane way to kill the invaders — but quickly ran out of freezer space.
Worse, the expansive problem has generally been self-inflicted. As is the case in Florida, the amphibians were actually manually introduced to global cane fields back in the 1930s and 40s as part of an ill-advised effort to manage other pests. But as often goes with transplanted species, these populations have since spiraled out of control.
Which, honestly, makes the whole thing that much more of a bummer. Yes, cane toads are a big problem, but it's also not at all their fault! Next time we find an amphibious chonkster in the Amazon simply minding it business, let's not drop it in random cane fields around the globe.
More on cane toads: Authorities Euthanize World’s Largest Toad
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