California Red-legged Frog Breaks Leg, Vet Inserts Metal Pin And It Is Later Released

October 13, 2017

A California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) was brought into the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA Wildlife Care Center in Burlingame last March with a broken leg.

California red legged frog with metal pin in its leg.

Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA

The metal pin that was inserted into the broken leg of the frog was eventually removed.

The endangered species, which is the official state amphibian of California, needed surgery. Veterinarians were able to insert an inch-long metal pin into the frog’s leg to stabilize it, but the frog wasn’t immediately released back into the wild. It underwent an additional six months of treatment before it was ready for release. After it was determined the frog had recovered, the pin was removed from its leg and the frog was released, according to the PHS & SPCA Wildlife Care Center.

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“It’s extremely rare for us to have red-legged frogs come into our treatment center, and we’ve never been involved with this type of surgery before on an amphibian,” Patrick Hogan, manager of the Wildlife Care Center told the Mercury News. “We are very happy the surgery was successful and we were able to return this frog to his native wild lands.”

California red-legged frog


The California red-legged frog is the official state amphibian.

The California red-legged frog was listed as an Endangered Species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 1996 due to habitat loss. It was named the official state amphibian of California by that state’s legislature in 2015.

The California red-legged frog was made famous by Mark Twain's short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." Listed as threatened in 1996, Rana draytonii is the largest native frog in the Western United States. It grows from 1.5 to 5 inches in length and sports an olive or brown back and reddish legs and belly.

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