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Peruvians Drinking Away Existence of the Endangered Titicaca Water Frog

November 18, 2014



The Peruvians are literally grinding away the existence of a critically endangered frog. The Titcaca water frog (Telmatobius culeus), is an aquatic frog that lives its entire life in the rivers that flow into Peru’s Lake Tititcaca. It was named a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2004 and is one of the largest frogs in the world, growing to 2.2 pounds and stretching 20 inches with its limbs outstretched. Yet, it is considered to be a cure for a range of human illnesses in the same way that the Tokay gecko is considered, erroneously, a disease killer in China. 


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"I always come to drink frog juice here because it's good for the children," Cecilia Cahuana told the AP while waiting at a frog-juice bar in Lima for the Titicaca concoction. "For anemia, bronchitis and also good for older persons,” she said. 

Tomy Villanueva, the dean of the Medical College of Lima told the AP that there is not one shred of evidence that the frog juice has any medicinal value and has not met the standards of Peru's FDA to be remotely considered as medicine. 

 

Lake Titicaca water frog

joshua stone/wikipedia

The Lake Titicaca water frog is is one of the largest frogs in the world, growing to more than 2 lbs.

To create the snake oil. . . err frog juice concoction, the frog juice vendor gets a hold of a small Titicaca frog and whacks it on the head until dead, peels the skin off and puts the frog into a blender with carrots, honey and the Peruvian maca root. The vendor then fires up the blender and pours the green substance into a glass and serves it to customers. 

 

John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 

 

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