National Park Service asks visitors to stop licking poisonous toads: NPR

Black and white motion sensor camera capture of the Sonoran Desert Toad looking into your soul at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona.

National Park Service


hide caption

toggle caption

National Park Service


Black and white motion sensor camera capture of the Sonoran Desert Toad looking into your soul at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona.

National Park Service

Go to almost any park and there are often reminders to refrain from approaching, petting or feeding wildlife. Not licking weird animals was just a given – until now.

The National Park Service has added tongue contact with the Sonoran Desert Toad among its various warnings for park visitors.

“As we say with most things you encounter in a national park, whether it’s a banana slug, an unfamiliar fungus, or a big bright-eyed toad in the middle of the night, please refrain from licking,” the agency wrote on Facebook. last week.

The toad, also known as the Colorado River toad, is about seven inches tall and has a low, low-pitched ribbit sound. But the creature is far from harmless. According to the National Park Service, Sonoran Desert toads secrete a powerful toxin that can make people sick if they touch it or have the poison in their mouths.

Despite the risks, some people have found that the toad’s toxic secretions contain a powerful hallucinogen known as 5-MeO-DMT.

In recent years, smoking the amphibian’s secretions has grown in popularity – so much so that the species is even considered endangered at least in New Mexico due to “collectors who want to use the animal for consumption. drugs,” according to the state Game Department. & Fish.

A number of public figures have reported experimenting with the toxins extracted from the toad. Boxing legend Mike Tyson talked about it, and some researchers have even started studying it for its potential therapeutic benefits. President Biden’s son Hunter Biden has written about the use of 5-MeO-DMT therapy as a form of drug treatment.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration considers 5-MeO-DMT to be a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it is not currently accepted for medical use and has strong drug potential. abuse.

About Rhonda Lee

Check Also

Documentary aims to break down stigma and promote dialogue about Indiana’s opioid crisis

A free screening of the documentary Addict’s Wake will take place at the Indiana Historical …