Story from the Virginia Conservation Police Notebook

I get emails from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. They are the state regulatory body for hunting and fishing.

The most interesting email is a monthly summary of the calls that the Conservation Police (game wardens) have been on. I always read the ones for my region (there are 4 regions in the state.)

I thought folks here would enjoy this story. I had no idea people still did this.

Cane Toad Licking

On Saturday, February 2, 2020, Master CPO Ray Solomon responded to information provided by the Prince William County Animal Control in regards to the illegal possession of exotic wildlife. The investigation revealed that the Prince William County Police responded to a disturbance in a neighborhood.

When the police arrived a 20 year old male was acting disorderly. The police had the male transported to the hospital as he was acting as if he was under the influence of a drug. The man was very incoherent and combative even breaking the restraints. Police discovered that he recently purchased two cane toads and may have licked them to get high.

Bufotenin, one of the chemicals excreted by the cane toad, is classified as a controlled substance. The effects of bufotenin are thought to be similar to those of mild poisoning; the stimulation, which includes mild hallucinations, lasts less than an hour. As the cane toad excretes bufotenin in small amounts, and other toxins in relatively large quantities, toad licking could result in serious illness or death.

Solomon interviewed the suspect’s father who voluntarily surrendered the two cane toads after he was informed they were illegal to possess in Virginia. The toads were purchased online and shipped from Florida. A charge is pending.

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