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Posted by Wes von Papinešu on June 19, 2002 at 20:40:36:
PRESS ASSOCIATION (London, UK) 18 June 02 Giant frogs force frightened residents indoors
Thousands of giant frogs are plaguing residents and motorists in north Germany.
The giant bull frogs weigh up to two kilos each and were first spotted in Hanover.
Scientists believe a pet owner may have caused the invasion by releasing a few frogs in a local river.
They have been free from natural predators and have been allowed to breed in large numbers.
Many locals are too scared to venture outside, despite reassurances the animals are harmless to humans.
In one area, motorists complained about a carpet of frogs on the road which sent their vehicles skidding.
The Rhein Zeitung newspaper says it's impossible to see the water in some small streams because of the number of giant frogs.
The bull frogs are believed to have originated in America. They live off birds, fish, rodents and small animals.
PRESS ASSOCIATION (London, UK) 18 June 02 Endangered frogs get lucky escape
People in Germany who collected hundreds of tadpoles to prevent a plague of frogs have had to return them.
Residents of Hanover took action because they heard that the frogs were an American species which had blocked roads in some areas.
But a biologist who examined the tadpoles says they are a rare German species which needs to be protected.
Local people thought they were American bullfrogs which live off small fish and birds and would have threatened the local ecology.
But biologist Christian Erdmann found out just in time that the animals belong to a rare species called spadefoot toad.
He told Spiegel magazine: "I'm happy that our fears have proved to be unfounded."
All animals have now been returned to nature unharmed. Spadefoot toads live only on algae and insects. Local authorities have now ordered for the area to be specially protected.
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