Thousands of Toads Hop Into Montana Town

BIG SANDY, Mont. - Thousands of quarter-sized toads have invaded this north-central Montana farming community, causing slippery streets and raising the entrepreneurial spirits of some.

The toads started showing up in the southeast portion of town in the past couple of weeks.

"I have no idea how many thousands of toads are in town," said Charlie Foussard. "At times, you just about can't take a step."

Karen Jesperson said some lawns in town are filled with so many toads, it looks like the grass is moving.

"They're pretty cute," she said.

Breezy Baumgarn, who works at the grocery store on Main Street, said driving in town is a little sticky because the roads are filled with tiny, smashed toads.

"Poor little toads," she said. "Everyone keeps running them over. They have nowhere to go."

Some are collecting the toads with plans to sell them to pet stores. Others are talking about trying them out as fish bait.

Larry Ophus, chief of the volunteer fire department, said the toads seem to be migrating from east to west and believes they will soon be on their way.

It was just two years ago that the town's streets were blocked by 10-foot drifts of tumbleweeds. Firefighters hauled the tumbleweeds away and burned them.

"The tumbleweeds were a hazard," Ophus said. "The toads are just a nuisance."


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