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Thousands of Toads Leave Detroit Zoo 'Disneyland' for Their Ancestral Home

June 12, 2018, 12:26 PM

Puerto Rican crested toad (Wikipedia photo)

In what may be on the top-five list of Packages You Hope Aren't Damaged in Shipping, the Detroit Zoo last week sent 11,226 Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles to their native island, where they were released into a biological reserve in a bid to fortify the endangered species, according to a zoo press release. 

"Detroit Zoological Society amphibian staff spent more than 12 hours counting and packing the tadpoles into Styrofoam-protected shipping boxes for their journey," the report reads. "Heavy-duty fish shipping bags were used, doubled up and filled with oxygen to keep the tadpoles healthy and safe en route. Approximately 24 hours later, the tadpoles were released in their new home – a pond located in a well-protected forest in Puerto Rico."

Actually, the press release is full of interesting facts, including that these are only the latest crop of Detroiters to be sent to the Caribbean commonwealth. More than 52,000 Detroit Zoo-born tadpoles have previously made the same trip from the National Amphibian Conservation Center at the zoo, which opened in 2000 and was dubbed “Disneyland for toads” by none other than The Wall Street Journal. And here we thought toad Disneyland was only at select bars in Royal Oak. 

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By: Diane Weiss (@dddetroit)