US National Parks Service issues warning against licking Sonoran Desert toads

US National Parks Service issues warning against licking Sonoran Desert toads

The US National Park Service has come out with an official warning against people trying to lick the Sonoran Desert toad for a quick high.

The Sonoran Desert toad is somewhat infamous for a toxin it secretes which can be used to have a hallucinogenic experience. The animal appears mostly in North America and several reports claim that people end up having violent episodes after coming in contact with the animal. However, licking them has suddenly turned into a trend in the United States and the authorities are not happy about it.

The US National Park Service has come out with an official warning against people trying to lick the Sonoran Desert toad for a quick high. The authorities have stated that the warning is meant to protect people from falling sick due to overexposure to the toxin of the largest toad in the US.

Toad-licking is not a new practice with many parts of Africa and South America providing such services on the black market. However, the health concerns are equally well documented, and over the years, multiple deaths have been attributed to overdosing or constant abuse of the toxins.

According to the official website of the Organ Pipe Cactus national monument in Arizona, hallucinations and euphoria are the effects of consuming the toxin but can be lethal in high doses.

US National Parks Service issues warning against licking Sonoran Desert toads
Can you spot the frog hiding between rocks and leaves in this picture?

“As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, an unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking,” it said.

The warning is not just limited to human beings as the owners were also asked to refrain their dogs from licking the toad as the toxins can also impact them. “Animals that harass this species generally are intoxicated through the mouth, nose, or eyes,” the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum told The Guardian.

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