Don’t Lick The Toads To Get High, National Park Service Warns

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2016, file photo, a large bison blocks traffic as tourists take photos of the animals in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park in Wyo. Park administrators appear to have lost ground on a 2009 pledge to minimize cell phone access in backcountry areas. Signal coverage maps for two of Yellowstone's five cell phone towers show calls can now be received in large swaths of the park's interior such as the picturesque Lamar Valley. The maps were obtained by a Washington, DC-based advocacy group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

At a glance

  • “These toads have prominent parotoid glands that secrete a potent toxin,” NPS warned.
  • “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 Colorado river toad measures seven inches long; it emits a “weak, low-pitched toot, lasting less than a second.” It can live for 20 years while hibernating underground for most of each year, only to appear after heavy summer rains.

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