‘Hitch-hiking’ toad finds sanctuary

2012-12-22 09:20

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The toad that hopped inside a porcelain candlestick in China and made its way to Cape Town will not be put down but instead sent to a sanctuary, Mango Airlines said.

The toad, dubbed Jack B Nimble, arrived in Johannesburg yesterday afternoon, spokesperson Hein Kaiser said in a statement.

“Jack was accompanied by his caretaker, SPCA Cape Town inspector Brett Glasby. The 120-minute flight was likely Jack’s shortest trip in months.”

The Star reported on Thursday that the toad, an Asian Common Toad, was the first toad the SPCA had to deal with regarding “hitch-hiking” animals.

“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,” said Glasby on Thursday.

He said the toad had an adaptation mechanism which included their skin hardening to prevent it from drying out, and their heart rate and breathing slowing down, to survive in time of drought.

He said the toad would have to be put down as it was a potentially invasive creature and posed a threat to the indigenous frogs, according to the report.

But yesterday, the toad was met by conservationists at the airport and transported to a sanctuary in Fourways, Johannesburg.

“It is an extraordinary tale,” said Kaiser.

“Urban legend credits felines with nine lives but Jack proves that resilience is spread throughout the animal kingdom.”

He said upon learning of his tale, it was impossible for the airline not to accommodate his carriage to the sanctuary.

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