Aussies open ‘toad detention centres’ and make fertilizer out of them

Remember the invasive Cane Toads – scourge of Australian native wildlife? they were the subject of one of the most popular posts on The Ranger’s Blog ever: Smearing toads with haemorrhoid cream… humanely.

A cute little toad

The Australians have taken a characteristically robust view of how to deal with these introduced pests. Not for them the rather apologetic ‘re-homing’ or contraception which we English use on grey squirrels. Federal MP Dave Tollner said, helpfully:

“I suggested that people should hit them with golf clubs or cricket bats or, you know, lumps of wood – whatever was at hand.”

Now an even more productive way to deal with the toads has arisen. Step forward Cane Toad Organic Liquid Fertilizer, also known as ToadJus.

Northern Territory residents are urged to take live toads to the detention centre at Freds Pass Reserve near Bees Creek. Further detention centres are being organised for Humpty Doo and Darwin. The live cane toads are gassed, then frozen and delivered to Moeco manufacturing factory.

Sounds worryingly like a final solution for toads. The new compound was devised by campaigning group Frogwatch, and the product launch was not without a hitch – it seems that even beyond the grave the malevolent toads managed to croak out one last laugh after reports of bottles exploding. The first batch of bottles turned out to be undergoing ‘residual fermentation’: meaning that they had a tendency to burst, potentially covering the garden shed with evil-smelling, sticky liquid. Frogwatch Co-ordinator Graeme Sawyer said, perhaps with a little understatement:

We don’t need to go to product recall – the ToadJus is fine but the pressure needs to be relieved if bottles are being kept for later use. It could be annoying if the bottle has been placed on a kitchen shelf or in the house. I would particularly warn people against sending the novelty product to friends through the post.

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