ARIZONA NEWS

National Park Service warns visitors to stop licking toad native to Arizona

Nov 8, 2022, 4:15 AM

(Facebook Photo/National Park Service)

(Facebook Photo/National Park Service)

PHOENIX — Election and pre-holiday season can be stressful, but licking toads is not the escapism the National Park Service recommends.

Last week, NPS posted on Facebook a message to visitors to stop licking the Sonoran desert toad, which is found in Arizona, New Mexico and in Mexico.

The toad secretes a liquid hallucinogenic toxin when threatened, intended to kill or incapacitate predators in the wild.

“These toads have prominent parotoid glands that secrete a potent toxin,” the post reads. “It can make you sick if you handle the frog or get the poison in your mouth. As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking.”

The toad is described as one of the largest in the country at nearly 7 inches long. It has smooth, olive, brown or gray skin and makes a low-pitched toot noise.

Licking the toad could cause muscle weakness, a rapid heart rate and vomiting, according to the Addiction Center. Eating it can be deadly for pets like dogs.

People have also smoked the toad’s toxin — 5-MeO-DMT — by drying it into a paste or powder for trips that distort time, vision and sound.

The toxin does not serve a defined medical purpose and has high potential for addiction, according to the Addiction Center.

The Sonoran Toad, also know as the Colorado River toad, is listed as threatened in New Mexico due to habitat loss, roadway mortalities and over collecting for drug use.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Picture of the Mitsubishi Montero that Phoenix police suspect hit an 11-year-old girl in a crosswal...

Damon Allred

Hit-and-run suspect sought in Phoenix after injuring child walking in crosswalk

Officers are searching for a hit-and-run suspect who hit an 11-year-old girl walking in a school crosswalk on Friday, Phoenix PD said.

3 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

KTAR.com

Police investigating deadly shootings in south Phoenix on Saturday morning

Police on Saturday morning were searching for a suspect or suspects after two people were fatally shot in south Phoenix in the early-morning hours.

4 hours ago

Rattlesnake activity...

Nick Borgia

Warmer temperatures leads to increased rattlesnake activity in the Valley

The Banner Poison and Drug Information Center has seen an increase in rattlesnake activity in the Valley due to warmer weather.

6 hours ago

Housing program...

Nick Borgia

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces new $13M housing program

Gov. Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) announced a new housing program on Friday, called "Arizona is Home."

7 hours ago

expand
The Lee Lee International Supermarkets store in Chandler. (Maison Solutions Inc.)...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Asian grocery chain acquired by California company

Arizona's Lee Lee International Supermarkets has been acquired by a Southern California-based specialty grocery retailer.

8 hours ago

Deshan Begay, 24, was struck by a vehicle while walking when he didn't have the right of way, polic...

KTAR.com

Man fatally struck while crossing I-10 access road at red light in Phoenix

Deshan Begay, 24, was crossing the I-10 westbound access road on Wednesday evening when a vehicle fatally struck him, Phoenix police said.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

National Park Service warns visitors to stop licking toad native to Arizona