The last several nights, since the onslaught of the summer rain storms, we’ve heard the deep croak of the Colorado River Toad at our Tucson Bed & Breakfast. We have several animal ponds on site to which these toads are attracted, undoubtedly looking for a mate. They can weight close to two pounds and most look like they’d be comfortable sitting on a salad plate rather than a small lilly pad. They burrow into the ground as much as two feet deep and wait until the summer rains come when they come out, mate, and lay eggs.
Their only real defense is a chemical substance coating their body which can paralyze and kill small animals. In fact we had a miniature poodle years ago who bothered one. Luckily we were able to hose out our pet’s mouth so that she lived. Other animals aren’t so lucky. They might also pose a danger to a child who handled one.
These intriguing animals remind us of the changing summer environment. They are part of our beautiful desert landscape.