Photo shows cane toads appearing to catch a ride on python

Credit: Ian Hitchcock

Credit: Ian Hitchcock

After a storm in Western Australia on Sunday displaced some animals, one couple saw a strange sight.

The Guardian reported that Paul and Anne Mock were with their children at their home in Kununurra, Western Australia, as heavy rains poured down.

"The lake was so full it had filled the cane toad burrows around the bank and they were all sitting on top of the grass -- thousands of them," Paul Mock told the Guardian.

Paul Mock said a regular visitor -- an 11-foot, 4-inch-long python named Monty was seen trying to find higher ground.

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About a dozen cane frogs were on top of the snake, hitching a ride.

“He was literally moving across the grass at full speed with the frogs hanging on,” Mock said. “I thought it was fascinating that some of the local reptiles have gotten used to (the cane toads) and not eating them.”

Paul Mock sent a photo to his brother Andrew, who posted it on Twitter and got a wide range of responses.

In actuality, the toads had another agenda. BBC News reported that, according to conservation biologist Judi Rowley, they were trying to mate with the python. Rowley is the curator of amphibian and reptile conservation biology at the Australian Museum and University of New South Wales Sydney.

Cane toads are a pest in the region and are in high numbers in town where the Mocks live.

“You just learn to kick the toads out of the way when you go into your house at night,” Paul Mock said. “They’re attracted to the light. They’re on the driveway and you dodge them.

“You kind of almost forget they’re there until you see how many there are when they’re all out of the burrows.”

Millions of the toads cover northeastern Australia, according to National Geographic. The cane toad is an invasive species and the Australian government encourages trapping and removing them to prevent their spread.

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