Saturday, October 1, 2016

Purposeful Treefrog Murder

Today I murdered this cute and innocent 3-inch long Cuban treefrog that I found hiding beneath my front porch wreath. They are an invasive species to Florida and they eat voraciously. Besides spiders and bugs and little snakes, they have nearly eliminated the five local species of native treefrogs and also the ever shrinking green anole lizard population. The Cuban anole is also killing off the green anole, but that is a different story altogether.

Hiding beneath the wreath. "If I stay real still, nobody will notice me!"
I caught this slimey fella in a ziploc baggie, verified its species, and by the way, it was a boy - he had black gripper callouses on his thumbs to hang onto his mate. Next I anesthetized him, then froze him, and finally dumped him into the swirling vortex of death. The instructions to humanely kill a treefrog are to put an inch line of 20% benzocaine (orajel) down its back and they go into a coma in 20 numbing seconds, then freeze for a couple of days before burying at least a foot underground and still in baggie. But we don't have benzocaine, so I instead poured a thimbleful of very old 80 proof scotch whiskey into the baggie, aiming for his back, and this was probably a more entertaining 15 seconds than the numbing gel would have been for this frog. FYI, frogs don't drink, they absorb liquids into their back skin. It was disturbing to me to put him (in baggie) into the freezer, but I did for several hours. I just couldn't deal with the thought of having a frog in my freezer so the toilet came to mind. He felt frozen/hard and I am pretty sure he was dead when I flushed him, but it is my guess that if he wasn't, he has since drowned or died from alcohol poisoning. 
Not happy in a baggie, before getting scotch whiskey.
Killing a frog wasn't as awful as I expected and I do not feel bad about it now. I won't murder just any frog, just invasive Cuban treefrogs. My sister Patty and I were in a gift shop this past Tuesday and I spied a small native green treefrog hopping around on the floor, so I caught him, rinsed carpet fuzz and dust off of him and put him outside in the bushes to eat bugs and make some music. Why scotch? My sisters and I emptied my father's liquor cabinet several years ago and this was the bottle I was given. Dad quit drinking 38 years ago, so I'd say that's some aged scotch and maybe more than 80 proof now. I am glad I used alcohol instead of benzocaine, as you are supposed to hold the frog in your hand and rub the ointment into his back skin. Holding frogs doesn't bother me, but lately I react very strongly to plant, bug and probably frog juices too, so I'd surely have had a reaction. Even ice gives me hives!