Toad hitches ride from South Africa to Baltimore in sneaker

BALTIMORE — A Johns Hopkins University scientist hit the gym soon after returning from a trip to South Africa and discovered an unexpected workout partner: an endangered-species toad that stowed away in her sneaker.

Nancy Connell tells The Baltimore Sun she recognized the tiny toad peering up at her from her locker as one of the toads that kept jumping into her boots in the Western Cape province. She says she kept checking her boots, but never thought to check her sneakers.

She named the toad Riley, after her recently deceased cat, and learned he was a member of South Africa's western leopard toad species.

After remedying Riley's cold, dehydration and starvation, she found help at Baltimore County's division of animal services. They're now trying to find Riley a zoo home.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com

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