Giant African bullfrog -

Untouchable Pets: Giant African bullfrog

Native to Africa, the African bullfrog has become a very popular pet around the world. Maybe you'd like one for your very own. But be careful, because its bite is a lot worse than its croak!

Jules Sylvester is one of the movie industry's top animal wranglers. But Jules isn't a Hollywood native. He grew up in Kenya, so it's only natural that one of his favorite exotic pets also comes from Africa.

Jules handled the great frog for our America Now cameras.

"This is actually a giant African bullfrog," says Jules. "It's probably the largest amphibian we've got in Africa. They're a very, very powerful animal. Fascinating to watch. But pretty much an untouchable. And the reason being, they can give you a really, really hard bite. Do not put your finger in there. He'll take it and they've got these double-edged fangs, like Dracula upside-down. He will bite your finger and draw blood. This really hurts!"

But what does this creature like to eat?

"They eat rats," says Jules. "There's a hint right there. If somebody's biting a rat with his own mouth, that's a tough frog. The rat doesn't want to go down easy. They'll grab that rat. Crunch. Two, three swallows. It's gone."

"When you think about George Lucas and Star Wars, we've got Jabba the Hutt right here," he adds. "You know where he got the character from. They definitely have character! They don't do a whole lot. But they're fun to look at."

So how much would a frog like this cost?

"A frog like this would probably run you about $300, because they've been hand-raised," says Jules. "A lot of love and effort went in to get them to this size. They will get even a little bit bigger than this. And they can last probably 25 years. That's a long time for a pet. So if you amortize it, this is actually quite a good deal."

And this pet being so large... where do you keep him?

"Probably best to keep him inside," suggests Jules. "I keep mine inside at 80, 85 degrees. He's not really a good swimming frog. He's more of a sitter. Give him about two inches of water and some rocks. Use bottled water or well water. Do not use stuff from the faucet, because you've got chlorine and fluoride and he absorbs this through the skin and it will kill him."

Food? How often and how much?

"Feed him once a week," says Jules. "Give him a mouse, a rat. When he ducks his head and closes like that, he's probably done. They are a fascinating animal. And, you know, if you have one of these, you're probably the only guy on your block to have one. Definitely an unusual, untouchable pet!"

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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