Solomon Islands villagers were flabbergasted after encountering a frog as big “as a human baby” during a hunting expedition, the frog-finder said. The huge hopper was first discovered in April, but photos are just going viral on social media, the Daily Mail reported.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said sawmill owner Jimmy Hugo, 35, who stumbled across the freakish flycatcher while pursuing wild pigs in Honiara. He uploaded a photo to Facebook of a village kid holding the cartoonish critter, which is half as long as the child is tall.
The impressive specimen, believed to be a Shortland Island webbed frog, measured an eye-popping 10 inches from snout to butt with a weight of around 2.2 pounds — heavier than a quart of milk.
Jodi Rowley, the curator of amphibian and reptile conservation biology at the Australian Museum, told Australian Geographic she had “never seen one that big.”
“It’s quite uncommon for them to get to that size, so this one must have been quite old,” she said of the frog in the viral photo. While Shortland Island frogs are some of world’s largest, the biggest frog species is the goliath frog, which is found in Cameroon and can grow 13 inches long and weigh up to 7.2 pounds.
Size isn’t the frog’s only remarkable attribute. “We call them ‘bush chicken’ because some villages seem to like them more than chicken, but they’re difficult to catch,” said Hugo. In fact, he had only managed to snap this critter because it had died.
Thankfully, Kermit’s body didn’t go to waste, as the hunter and his village ended up eating the colossal croaker.
“Hopefully the next time we see one, it will still be alive and we’ll keep it that way,” Hugo said.
Unfortunately, that will likely be increasingly difficult: The species is experiencing a decline due to habitat degradation.
“I noticed that they don’t occur where they once did in lowland streams,” lamented Solomon Islands biologist Patrick Pikacha. “And interviews with locals showed that frog populations have drastically plummeted due to stream disturbances.
“This highlights the urgency of greater habitat protection.”