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American Bullfrogs – Victoria, CDN

Bullfrogs can be nasty little amphibians. They’ll eat just about anything that will fit into their mouths, including smaller native frogs, baby ducks and even bullfrog tadpoles. They originally come from Quebec and Ontario, and down through the US to the east coast of Mexico. Profit-hungry entrepreneurs brought them to Vancouver Island to launch a frog’s legs food franchise.

The math seems really easy – a bullfrog can produce 20,000 eggs, so you get 40,000 frog’s legs. But it’s not that simple. In this climate it takes bullfrogs 8 years to get to full size. And you lose lot of stock because bullfrogs cannibalize one another. On top of that, they can leap 9 times their body length, so keeping them contained is a nightmare. The Vancouver Island bullfrog money-making scheme went belly-up and an unknown number of bullfrogs were let loose.

Today there are efforts underway to eliminate the American bullfrog population on Vancouver Island. Frogs are stunned with an electro-frogger and then put into a bucket. The bucket goes into one freezer to lower their temperature over 24 hours and then a second freezer freezes them to death. Their bodies are used in high school biology classes and to feed native wildlife at a local shelter. Thousands of these frogs are killed every year. But does anyone care?

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