Signs of the Times
Unwelcome in Virginia
Three weeks ago, "Bufo - short for the toad's species name, Bufo marianus - gained nationwide attention when his encounter with a 95-pound German shepherd led to the dog's death. The South American giant marine toad was not sighted again until (a) Dorset Court resident ... noticed him in his back yard Thursday night" (Kimberly O'Brien, The Daily Progress, September 14, 1996).
Purchased two years ago for Western Albemarle High School, Bufo escaped from its 4-foot high cage last June. According to University of Virginia biology professor Mike Mellon, Bufo's toxins caused the dog's eventual death because the toad was large (about 7 inches long) and likely released more of the chemical than would have a small toad (Kimberly O'Brien, The Daily Progress, September 14, 1996).
Says state game warden Kenny Dove, Camelot's toad is unwelcome in Virginia and will not be returned to his owner (a local biology teacher). "It's not a desirable animal. If we had a breeding pair, we could have some problems" (Kimberly O'Brien, The Daily Progress, September 14, 1996).
The teacher had purchased the toad from a school catalog and did not know "that because the South American giant marine toad is an exotic animal, she was required to have a state permit for it" (Kimberly O'Brien, The Daily Progress, September 14, 1996).
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