Becoming Friends With An American Bullfrog
Today, I caught this American Bullfrog...Pardon me, I actually thing it is a toad, but now I am at a loss as to whether it is an American Toad or a Fowler's Toad. Supposedly American Toads exist in South Dakota, but not as far west as I am. But then, Alligator Snapping Turtles aren't supposed to be here either and they are. Well, WHAT she is, doesn't really make a difference to my story, sooo...I put her in this big water trough I keep water in for my turtle so she can have fresh air. After awhile I stuck my hand down in there and picked her up. At first she wanted to get away. But after I began talking softly to her and stroking her eye ridges and sides, she relaxed. Finally I offered to return her to the water, but she remained sitting on my hand. So I decided to give her back her freedom. I lowered my hand to the grass, but still she sat without moving. So I gently nudged her with a finger and she finally left my hand, but only by one short hop. As she sat there, I wondered if she would let me pet her again. Slowly I bent down and reached my hand towards her, fully expecting her to take off...But she still just sat still. So I stroked her side gently a couple of times.
I wondered if I caould actually catch it on camera, so I turned to go in the house to get the camera. I looked back to see if my movement scared her...nope, still sitting there. When I returned with the camera, she still had not moved. I turned the video on and approached her. Finally she humped. But she did not go far, and once again allowed me to stroke her sides. When she jumped almost off camera, I turned it off and picked her up and brought her back for a couple of up close pictures. Then I got another video of her letting me pet her some more. When I left to go in the house, i saw one of the cats walk up and sniff her. She sat there calmly accepting the curious cats actions. I called the cat to me and we went into the house.
She seemed intelligent enough to understand I meant her no harm, and willing to continue the experience of being gently stroked. Most people wouldn't think frogs, toads, lizards or snakes have any intelligence, but they do. They are pretty cool creatures.