AJO, Ariz. — Most park-goers know the kinds of animals to avoid while out on the trail like snakes, bears or mountain lions. But now, the National Parks Service is warning of a new threat: a toad.
The service recently posted a warning people about the Sonoran desert toad, particularly cautioning park guests not to lick the amphibious menace.
The toad has been threatened in some states recently as people have reportedly begun attempting to use its natural toxin as a hallucinogenic drug, but the National Parks Service strongly advises against this.
Unfortunately, unlike its frog cousin, this toad will not turn into a prince.
Instead, the Sonoran desert toad secretes a toxin that the Parks Service warns can make people sick if they handle the toad or get the poison in their mouths. Hence, the warning against licking the animal.
The toad, also known as the Colorado river toad, is one of the largest toads found in North America, measuring around 7 inches long. It also makes a distinctive sound, described as a “weak, low-pitched toot, lasting less than a second.”
Telling patrons to keep their tongues off tooting toads seems like a warning that should go without saying, but the Parks Service took the warning one step further and advised against licking anything one might find in a national park:
"As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking. Thank you."
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