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Wind in the Willows fans look away now. Residents in Australia's Northern Territory have begun staging mass exterminations of invading cane toads, the BBC reports.

Local government last week backed a series of events under the banner: "Not In My Backyard".

Federal MP Dave Tollner stepped up with slaughter tips: "I suggested that people should hit them with golf clubs or cricket bats, you know, lumps of wood - whatever was at hand."

The Australian RSPCA appealed for more humane methods. They recommended daubing the blighters with haemorrhoid cream. Apparently it put the toads in a coma so they can be stuck in the freezer to kill them painlessly.

But Tollner favours the more direct approach: "You know, to me it seems far easier just to flog them over the head with a lump of wood."

The cane toad is an introduced species, and is causing damage to the native ecology. Crocodiles die from eating their poisonous skin. The toad was introduced in a disastrous effort to eradicate another South American invasive species, the cane beetle.

As we reported recently, evolutionary biologists have found the toads evolving longer legs so that they can cover even more ground in their seemingly unstoppable march across the country. Advancing at up to 30 miles per year with a population swelling to 100m individuals, Darwin in the Northern Territory is now the front line in the battle against Bufo marinus

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