CHINA might be preparing to welcome in the year of the tiger but in Rockhampton it must be year of the frog.
It seems to be pretty easy being green these days with the mighty amphibians proving they can take on snakes and now rats.
Aidhan Johnstone, 17, couldn’t believe his eyes when he watched this green tree frog eating a rat outside his Bondoola home, between Yeppoon and Rockhampton.
It was a couple of months ago when Aidhan’s dad was watching TV and he heard a rat squeaking outside.
Aidhan went out to investigate and found the tree frog with most of the rat already inside its mouth.
“They get both hands and use their big webbed fingers to push it into their mouth like a little kid,” said Aidhan’s mum, June.
“I guess we don’t need a cat with these frogs around.”
The domestic white rat was one of Aidhan’s pets, which he assumed had escaped from its cage before it was caught by the frog.
It wasn’t the first time one of Aidhan’s pets had escaped.
The teenager has a fascination with reptiles and is the proud owner of six carpet snakes.
About four months ago two of the smaller snakes escaped from their cage in Aidhan’s bedroom.
He found one behind a photo of Steve Irwin hanging on his wall.
The second escapee snake has never been located.
“Grandma has refused to come to visit until we find the second snake,” Aidhan said.
Aidhan currently does casual work at Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary on the Capricorn Coast.
He said Steve Irwin was his inspiration to one day work at Australia Zoo as a reptile keeper.
At his Year 12 formal last year, Aidhan walked in with his partner and a 180cm snake around his neck.
Aidhan has been bitten by his non-venomous pets plenty of times but last October he was nipped on the foot by a wild eastern brown snake outside his home.
Standing in his doorway, Aidhan said he didn’t know what had bitten his foot until he saw the snake’s mouth around his toe.
An ambulance rushed Aidhan to Rockhampton Hospital where he spent four days in intensive care.