Frogs released in Quezon City vs dengue may cause death

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — A warning for residents in Barangay Old Balara in Quezon City: Those frogs released in your neighborhood may end up killing more than just mosquitoes.

Wildlife biologist Carmela Española told CNN Philippines that the more than 1,000 cane toads released in the area in a drive against dengue could harm dogs and people.

Española said touching these frogs could cause nausea and severe allergy — and sometimes, much worse.

“It has caused death in the past, there have been records of it causing death,” she said.

The release of the frogs in creeks in the village was met with criticism online, with some netizens pointing out that these amphibians may cause harm to pets and humans. Others said the toads may be an invasive species.

But residents seem to be unfazed by the frogs, which were released by Barangay Captain Allan Franza. Franza believes the frogs will be able to curb mosquito breeding by eating the insects.

“Balance naman sa nature ‘yun eh kasi ‘yung palaka kumakain talaga sila ng lamok,” said Emma Divina, who lives near a creek where the toads were set free.

[Translation: That balances nature because frogs really eat mosquitoes.]

Franza also insists that the frogs they used are harmless.

Ang pinanggalingan niyan Baras, Rizal. Kung nakakapinsala ‘yan dapat may insidente na nakapinsala ang palaka doon sa bukid ng Rizal,” he said.

[Translation: Those came from Baras, Rizal. If these were harmful, they should’ve caused harm in farms in Rizal.]

CNN Philippines Correspondent AC Nicholls contributed to this report.