US Park Service urges tourists not to lick frog with psychedelic toxin

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Not that it sounds tasty, but the US National Park Service (NPS) has been warning tourists not to lick a species of frog found in the Sonoran Desert region.

As tasty as it sounds, you should refrain from licking the Sonoran Desert frog, the US National Park Service (NPS) has warned.

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Last Tuesday, the NPS used Facebook to warn people about the effects of this practice. According to them, you have to be careful with the so-called Sonoran Desert frog, also known as the Colorado River frog.

The Sonoran Desert occupies a large area of ​​the southwestern United States and southern Mexico.

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The amphibian is one of the largest frogs found in North America, measuring up to 18 centimeters, according to the NPS Facebook post.

The animal’s croak, according to the parks service, is like a “low, distinct ringing that lasts less than a second.”

But frogs, found in the American Southwest, also have another unique feature: they “have prominent parotid glands that secrete a potent toxin,” according to the NPS.

The parotid glands are located just behind the frog’s eyes.

These substances can make humans sick if they touch the frog or put one in their mouth. Therefore, the service advises people who find the frog to “please refrain from licking”.

“As we warn you for most things you find in a national park, whether it’s a slug, an unknown mushroom, or a large frog with glowing eyes in the dead of night, avoid licking. Thank you,” says the parks service.

“Powerful psychedelic effect”

Sonoran desert frog toxins are particularly dangerous to other animals.

The toxins emitted by a Sonoran Desert frog can be enough to kill an adult dog, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a zoo accredited by the U.S. Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

However, among humans, the toxins have been exploited for other purposes, such as licking and even smoking the substance when it dried and crystallized.

When smoked, the toxins are a powerful psychedelic, according to the Oakland Zoo, also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Smoking the dried secretions of the Sonoran Desert Toad causes euphoria and strong auditory hallucinations, says the Oakland Zoo.

Possessing the frog’s venom, known as bufotenin, is illegal in California, according to the zoo.

Source: CNN Brasil

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