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Invasive bullfrog kicked out of town

Usually when you think of dangerous animals to avoid, you think of jellyfish, or sharks, or a pissed-off elephant.

Frogs don’t typically make the list. Yet the Santa Cruz county board of supervisors voted Tuesday to join in a local ban of the importation and sale of American bullfrogs.

Their reasoning? Apparently, the frogs, native to the Northeast, are an invasive species that wreaks havoc on the local environment and threatens native wildlife.

Ken Kriger, founder and executive director of Save the Frogs, put his foot down with a harsh message to the invaders:

“Bullfrogs are a predatory, non-native species that eats our native wildlife and spreads disease.”

He said they will eat several local amphibious species — three of which are endangered.

The ban won’t have an impact on at least one pet store. Aaron King, owner of Trop-Aquarium on Mission, said he didn’t carry the frogs anyway precisely because they are an invasive species.

The board stopped short of banning the possession of American bullfrogs, though, which means that if you own one, you don’t have to think about killing it. At least, not unless it tries to eat you.

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