It may be delicious, but you shouldn’t lick the Sonoran desert toad, according to the National Park Service.
On Tuesday, NPS posted on Facebook warning people to be cautious around the Sonoran Desert Toad also known as the Colorado River Toad.
According to the Facebook post, the amphibian is the largest known toad in North America and can measure up to 7 inches. According to the NPS’s Facebook post, the amphibian’s sound is distinctive and “low-pitched,”
The NPS states that toads are found throughout the American southwest and possess another distinctive feature. According to them, they “have prominent parotid cells that secrete a potent poison.” The toad’s eyes are just behind the parotids.
These toxins can make people sick if they touch or inhale the toad.
According to the service, people who have come in contact with the toad should “please refrain” from licking it.
The toad’s toxic toxins can be particularly harmful to other animals. According to the Arizona Desert Museum, which is an accredited zoo by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the toxin emissions from one Sonoran desert tortoise could kill a dog fully grown.
However, the toxins can be used for other purposes by humans. The toxins are powerful psychedelics when they’re smoked according to the Oakland Zoo, which is also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
According to the Oakland Zoo, smoking the Sonoran desert tad’s secretions causes strong auditory hallucinations and euphoria.
According to the California Zoo, it is illegal to possess bufotenin (the toad’s poison), in California.