Short hop to freedom: Jack B. Nimble gets a home in Joburg

2012-12-22 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — A toad that was found in a candlestick from China has been flown from Cape Town to a zoo in Johannesburg.

The Asian Gold Toad, which has been named Jack B. Nimble, arrived safely in Johannesburg yesterday afternoon, accompanied by his caretaker, SPCA Cape Town inspector Brett Glasby.

The 120-minute flight was likely Jack’s shortest trip in months.

The amphibian was met by conservationists at the airport and taken to a sanctuary in Fourways, Johannesburg.

“It is an extraordinary tale,” said Mango airlines communication manager Hein Kaiser.

The toad probably got trapped when the candlestick was packaged and then travelled about 12 000 km from China.

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

And this latest flight was surely also the animal’s most comfortable. He travelled with Glasby in the cabin.

“Upon learning of his compelling tale, it was impossible not to accommodate his carriage to the sanctuary.”

The offer from Mango to transport Jack to his new home in Jo’burg has saved the hardy toad from certain death.

Because there was a risk that Jack could introduce pathogens to frogs of the Western Cape, Cape Nature had issued instructions for Jack to reach his last terminal.

Glasby, the manager of the SPCA’s wildlife unit, said Jack would not be released into the wild.

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