Student finds rare frog cluster in pond

An extremely rare cluster containing thousands of frogs and frog spawn has been found in a pond in Co Wexford.

The army of frogs and frog spawn were found by a worker at the Secret Valley Wildlife Park in Clonroche.

Lisa Delahunty, 20, who works part time at the park, said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she made the phenomenal discovery.

“There were people in the park who spotted a lot of activity. I took a walk down to the pond on site and when I got there I could not believe my eyes. There were hundreds of clusters of frog spawn covering the pond. In my four years of working there I have never seen anything like it,” she said.

The animal care college student had made a once-in-a-lifetime discovery of vast amounts of common frogs, as well as green and brown frogs.

She contacted a nature website and discovered that this froggy phenomena only occurs once every five years at different locations in Ireland.

“It’s really early in the year for frogs; we don’t expect them until March. We bring school tours over to see them, but there have never been as many frogs as we have this year.”

One theory about the massive cluster involves confusion arising from the weather, which hasn’t been as cold as in recent years.

“We have loads of clusters along the base of the pond. They are lower down to protect themselves. You would imagine that an alien had landed because the whole base of the pond is like jelly. If you pick up a clump of grass you’ll find two or three frogs underneath.”

Ms Delahunty said anyone unaware of the phenomena would get a fright by the noise the frogs make. “If you didn’t know what it was you’d be walking fast past it.”

She said the discovery is generating interest.

“Everyone seems to love frogs. Everyone who comes to the park gets to see them; they are perfectly safe.”

A frog census is being carried out this year by Wildlife and Fisheries officers and Ms Delahunty encouraged anyone who makes a similar find to contact them.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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