Sunday, August 12, 2012

Volunteer helps one of our Garden bullfrogs in need ...

Frogs — being an important part of our ecosystem — are a favorite food for a host of natural predators such as birds, turtles, snakes and even other frogs. The Bullfrogs inhabiting the various outdoor aquatic ponds at the Garden are no different, and this week one of our favorite Bullfrogs from the Aquatic Plant Pond almost fell prey to an unknown predator! He was found Thursday morning with one of its hind legs bitten almost completely off.

Here is our 'V.I.F' last August, showing the telltale oblong tympanum which, along with his bizzarre behaviors,  distinguishes him from the other amphibian inhabitants of the Aquatic Plants Pond.

A Garden visitor holding the subject of this blog post and the friendliest Bullfrog I have ever seen.
This particular Bullfrog gained some popularity last August when it became the Garden's first V.I.F. (to quote Val, the amazing Curator of Aquatic Plants). Last year, he displayed some very un-frog-like qualities when he actually came when called and took hand-fed crickets, but nothing topped when it swam up and jumped onto Dante's hand! (to see last year's blog post, including a video click here)

Val carefully captured the V.I.F., and together with Gene, a volunteer in the horticulture department (and local physician) we set out to mend our broken friend. Julia, Curator of the Desert Collections, and Lauren, a volunteer with the amphibians both helped keep him calm through what was undoubtedly a difficult experience.

Our poor V.I.F. moments before surgery

Gene did the hard part, and I just tried to keep him from jumping

It seemed he knew we were trying to help.

Completely sealed up post-surgery. At the time of this post, he is stable. We hope to have some more good news to share soon!