Hitchhiker toad discovered in Coffs

Steve Fripp with the cane toad he captured.
Steve Fripp with the cane toad he captured. The Coffs Coast Advocate

COFFS Harbour Produce owner Steve Fripp had an unwelcome visitor waiting for him when he arrived at work yesterday morning.

Sitting on the shop floor was none other than a small cane toad, so Steve scooped him up, put him in a box, and rang a mate from the Department of Primary Industries to get some advice.

That's when the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) stepped in.

Steve says it appears the cane toad hitched a ride on a pallet of potting mix which arrived at the store from Queensland on Tuesday.

“If people find - or suspect they've found - a cane toad, they should contact us and we will come and identify it,” NPWS pest management officer, Brad Nesbitt, said.

“You need to be careful because you can confuse them with native species, so don't kill them.”

Brad said cane toads commonly hid in landscaping and building supplies and often hitched rides with caravans.

“We have been recording them down here for the last 10 years,” Brad said.

“We're getting up to 12 a year in Coffs Harbour, and the last one was in April. In the last month we've had two in Bellingen.

“None to date have established breeding populations here.

“Our aim is to keep them out through support from the community.

“We will collect and euthanase them.”

Brad said cane toads posed a major threat to our native wildlife and domestic pets.

To report a cane toad, or for more information, contact the NPWS in Coffs Harbour on 6652 0900.

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