Thieves caught on camera stealing toads from conservation area

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Crooks caught on camera stealing toads (KTRK)

A group of thieves were caught on camera in a conservation area in Arizona removing Sonoran Desert toads.

Maricopa County Park officials say three crooks stole four Sonoran Desert toads, and they were caught on a wildlife camera. The toads could be seen leaping around in plastic bags.

Arizona Game and Fish biologist Randy Babb told KNXV-TV, "They're the largest toad in the Southwest. They can reach sizes of more than two pounds."

The toads aren't considered rare, so the reason behind the theft could be in the poison they secrete to defend themselves. One theory is the crooks intend to harvest the toads' toxin to use as a psychedelic drug.

It's called toad licking -- a dangerously, deadly ingestible trend that may be making a comeback.

"It's a pretty dangerous thing to be playing with," Babb explained.

In Arizona, you need a license to catch or kill any wildlife and if these thieves are selling them, they're in even more trouble.

"It's against the law to buy, sell or trade reptiles and amphibians," Babb said.
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animalanimalswild animalsu.s. & worldcaught on camerasurveillance videoArizona