Amourous frogs look for love nest

HUNDREDS of lovestruck frogs performed their version of the grate escape in Ipswich today.The happy hoppers suddenly appeared from nowhere to invade the Ancaster Road area of town.

HUNDREDS of lovestruck frogs performed their version of the grate escape in Ipswich today.

The happy hoppers suddenly appeared from nowhere to invade the Ancaster Road area of town.

It's thought that recent building work had disturbed their usual breeding sites – and the amorous amphibians were desperate to find new sites to do what comes naturally!

"I've never seen anything like it in my life," said RSPCA inspector David Mitchell.

"They're coming out of drains. They're coming from everywhere.

"I have already taken about 300 to a new home and there are still hundreds more here. It's quite incredible."

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Ipswich Council – which has long experience in finding emergency accommodation for the homeless – quickly stepped in to provide a new des res for the creatures.

"We are moving them to the Alderman Road area. There's the Alderman Canal and a ditch with reedbeds which are ideal for frogs," said Sam Pollard from the parks department.

"We couldn't take them to the pond in Chantry Park because there are fish there – and fish love eating frogspawn and tadpoles. They'd be none left."

The last time so many frogs made the news was back in about 1200BC when a plague of frogs was one of the 10 plagues visited on the Egyptians when Pharoah refused Moses' request to free his Hebrew slaves.

At that time the country was overrun with frogs in beds, ovens, even the hair of the Egyptians.

Scientists who have studied the reference in the Book of Exodus believe this plague was caused by pollution in the River Nile which forced the frogs to seek sanctuary on land.

Julian Dowding from the Frog Rescue Service was on hand with his son, David, to help rescue the remaining frogs stuck down the drains in Ancaster Road today.

"The problem is there used to be quite a large pond and boggy area here, but that was all disturbed when these houses were built," said Mr Dowding.

"If an area here was to be dug out and the pond recreated – which would be quite possible – that would be the end of the problem. But if it stays like this we will see these kind of problems every year.

"Last Sunday evening the weather suddenly turned mild and wet, which is ideal for frogs to get the breeding urge, and suddenly they all appeared looking for their pond. All they could find were these drains."

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