Sometimes, to save a species, you have to kill one. This is the story of an invasive American bullfrog, told from his perspective. By Vince Hempsall
Ain’t it ironic a species as destructive as Homo sapiens is worried about lil ol’ me destroyin’ things? I’m only an American bullfrog. Lithobates catesbeianus to be all science like. Originally from Mississippi. And yeah, I’m a hungry sonuvagun most all the time. Some might even call me fixated. Or “invasive.” Yesterday, I managed to cram an entire duckling into my mouth. Mmmm.
But, hey, I gotta look after me an’ my kin. Can I help it if I got so many? My missus laid 20,000 eggs this past season alone. That’s a lot of tadpoles to feed, which is why we gotta make our way across the border from Idaho into British Columbia to keep on feedin’, right? But y’all are making it darn hard. Two years you been huntin’ us. You got your Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society involved. The Ktunaxa Nation. And that guy Matt Morrison from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and whatnot. This last year he headed up the 10-person posse dedicated to keepin’ us from enterin’ Canada. You got scientists spotlighting us all summer long, catching us with their nets, killing us with their electro-shockers and air rifles. I heard one team wiped out 200 of us in one night! All to protect your precious northern leopard frogs in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. Those endangered polliwogs are scrawny, toppin’ out at 22 grams. I bet they taste good. I’m nearing a kilo, myself.
Morrison says humans were the ones who introduced us to Idaho in the first place, ’cause frog legs are a delicacy or some such. Well, I declare, if y’all brought us here to eat us, then what’s the harm in us doin’ a little chowin’ down ourselves? Morrison says me and my kind will “eat anything that fits in [our] mouths: fish, insects, bats mice, shrews, voles, other frogs.” Sounds ’bout right. Burp