A frog the size of a dog

Tuesday 25th October 2022


I found the following in a 19th Century newspaper, though unfortunately I forgot to note down the date of the story but the newspaper was the Cazenovia Republican a New York state newspaper. The largest frog in the United States is the American bullfrog and its range would cover New York state. I am not categorically suggesting the frog in this story is an American bullfrog but I do suggest it is a contender. I have not included the whole story here for the sake of brevity. For more frog and toad Forteana see Animals & Men number 44. It is not absolutely certain the animal in this story was a frog, though the journalist responsible for the story seemed to think it was. Please note that journalists of this era often got reptiles and amphibians confused! The image shows an American bullfrog.


Captured a Giant Frog


“The above are the headlines on an old newspaper clipping found among the papers of the late Robert F. Hubbard or Cazenovia by his son, R. James Hubbard. Neither the name nor the date of the newspaper are known. It was not The Cazenovia Republican. Here is what the clipping says: A trackman on the Chenango Valley Railroad Sunday morning, at Cazenovia, found a freak which is supposed to have crawled out of the lake. The animal resembles a frog. It is fully as large as a good sized dog, and has eyes as large as silver dollars, the forelegs measure 1 foot and 10 inches, while one of the hind legs measures 2 feet and 1 inch in length. The other leg was somewhat mangled, the animal having probably been run over by the cars, which ac­ counts for the helpless condition in which it was found and which prob­ ably made its capture easy. Nothing has ever been seen here before which resembles in any way this creature, except the small frogs, and its name is thus far unknown, although several naturalists have examined the animal at the pumphouse, where it was placed in a box and was fed angle­ worms, on which it feasted heartily. Its skin is as tough as iron and the muscles are very solid, more especial­ ly the hind leg. which would naturally indicate that it had a tendency to jump like a frog…”


Richard Muirhead
Richard Muirhead has been a friend of the CFZ longer than anyone else. He first ,et Jon Downes in 1970 when they were both living in Hong Kong. They have been friends ever since.