Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Exploding Toads: Terror in Germany

ribbit ribbit ribbit—BANG!

April in Germany brings showers of rain, flowering nut trees—and exploding toads. In a pond outside the northern German city of Hamburg, over a thousand toads have simply puffed up and exploded, so many that the lake in the Altona district of Hamburg has been dubbed "the pond of death."
Visitors to Hamburg parks are being warned to watch out for exploding toads.

Several thousand toads in the city's parks have so far mysteriously spontaneously exploded, sending entrails and toad body parts over a wide area.

AFP/DPA File Photo
  Quick, before you pop! AFP/DAP photo

Eyewitnesses say the toads swell up to three and a half times their normal size, then suddenly burst—sending Hamburger toad chunks flying "meters into the air."
Nature protection worker Werner Smolnik from Hamburg said over the last four days at least a thousand toads had died in this manner... "It could be an unknown virus, or a fungus that has infected the water or a defense mechanism against aggressive crows... You see the toads crawling along the ground, swelling and getting bigger as they go until they are like little tennis balls, and then they suddenly explode..."

"It's a real puzzle," agreed Janne Kloepper from the Hamburg Institute for Hygiene and the Environment, adding: "If this keeps up, there will be no toads left in Hamburg."
According to Kloepper, a laboratory in Berlin has ruled out the South American fungus theory, and the toads do not appear to have any disease.

Perhaps the problem is really exploding beetles, and the toads are just innocent victims who ate the wrong bug.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice site!
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11/26/2006 6:57 AM  

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