An exotic frog has made a 5,000-mile trip to an Asda store in Llanelli – after being found amongst an a-peel-ing bunch of bananas from Colombia.
RSPCA Cymru was alerted after an eagle-eyed member of staff spotted the frog while on shift at the Murray Street store last Monday (June 29). The quick-thinking superstore worker has been thanked by the animal welfare charity.
Amphibians are capable of slowing down their metabolism under different environmental conditions – and it is believed this is how the frog would have survived the long journey into a cooler climate without food and drink.
Colombia is the UK’s biggest supplier of bananas – with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of the yellow fruit making the journey each and every year.
The frog – nicknamed Asda, after the site of his discovery – has now been transferred to Silent World to You; a marine life specialist centre in Haverfordwest – where he will now live in a special planted, humid environment.
It can be difficult to identify species of frog – but staff at Silent World think he is a Banana Tree Frog.
RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper said: “I thought I’d seen everything working for the RSPCA – but this banana-drama was a new one for me.
“This adventurous frog has travelled more than 5,000 miles amid a bunch of bananas; splitting from his native Colombia before ending up at a Llanelli superstore. It’s certainly a long old journey for the weekly shop!
“We’re so grateful to the members of the Asda team who contacted us. One team member spotted the frog, while another confined the frog and took him home. This quick thinking helped keep this frog safe.
“Frogs and other amphibians are so good at shutting down their bodies when they need to. It seems highly likely that’s exactly what this frog did to survive this long journey without food.
“Thankfully, the frog’s remarkable journey has a happy ending – with the little chap now safe and well at a specialist facility in Pembrokeshire.”
Ginny Spenceley, from Silent World To You, added: “We just had to name this wonderful little frog Asda.
“This isn’t as rare a discovery as people may think. With fruit deliveries no longer sprayed or treated, it isn’t uncommon for a frog or spider to hitch a ride.
“Fortunately, he’s doing really well and, funnily enough, got very comfortable in a banana skin as we helped settle him into his new, less familiar surroundings.
“Asda the frog is very small – with a body about the size of my thumb, but longer back legs. Of course, we don’t know if it is a baby or an adult.
“We’ve ordered a special delivery of crickets for Asda the frog. He’ll now live in our heated animal house in a planted terrarium, in a humid environment; enjoying a diet of crickets and flies.”
An Asda spokesperson said: ‘’We are pleased that Asda the frog is safe and well and hope he enjoys his hoppy new home.’’
Officers at the RSPCA have remained on the frontline throughout the coronavirus pandemic responding to emergencies. Should you wish to help them with this work, you can donate online.