Big Toads & Giant Flesh Eating Frogs

By Fred Olen Ray

 

Giant Flesh-Eating Frogs have become popular. The frogs, of which there are several types (Buffo Marinas - also called the Cane Toad, being good, but illegal in some States), are extremely easy to maintain. A little water, a good tropical temperature supplied by a household water-bed heater, and a steady supply of small mice will keep them happy for years.


Show owner Malcolm Geary caught a lot of heat once when he fed live mice to his frogs in front of some marks who in turn alerted the local wildlife officials. The officials informed him that throwing in live mice would land him in jail. Malcolm argued that mice were what the frogs ate naturally, but the officials were adamant. Malcolm asked if he could feed the frogs the mice if the rodents were already dead. Their answer was yes. Malcolm then grabbed a mouse by the tail, swung it around quickly and smacked its head on the edge of a table and proceeded to throw it in with the frogs. The wildlife officials then proceeded to throw Malcolm in jail!


Malcolm Geary was soon released and is still happily in the business, but the Giant Frog show is not among his repertoire. He now exhibits live bats in his Twilight Creatures Show. While I was visiting him once I noticed an old, disused wooden box about three feet square and only one foot deep, with a screen cover on it and some 2x4 legs nailed on it. On the side was painted the words "Killer Frogs". I asked him if this was what the frogs had been exhibited in and he said it was. I pointed out that it was an awfully small exhibit to be held in such a large tent as the one he used and he looked at me slyly. "The big tent is not to hold the frogs," he said, gesturing with his hands. "It's to hold all the people who want to see them!"


When I decided to frame up my own show, TERRORS OF THE AMAZON, we decided to feature Giant Frogs as part of our exhibit. The frogs, truly monsters, were acquired from Berkeley, California's East Bay Viaticum for around $450, but upon arrival we discovered they would not eat. For almost a month they refused the mice we offered and after I took them to Florida to join up with our show I began to get worried. The paint job on the show had cost $3,000 and it advertised Giant Flesh-Eating Frogs among our other horrors. What if they died?


As a last resort I bought a bag of live crickets from a local Orlando, Florida pet shop and threw them in. The frogs went after them like a kid after popcorn and the very next day they started on a steady diet of white mice. They have been good eaters ever since!

 

Used with permission of Fred Olen Ray from his book Grind Show. 
For copies of his book Grind Show email: fred@retromedia.org

 

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