The reason why someone may want Bufo Alvarius toads may surprise you. It is to milk them. Perhaps the idea of milking a toad may seem like a joke. You may even have already thought that the punch line to the “how do you milk a toad?" joke would be “First you get a very small stool. " But you may be assured this is no joke. People actually do milk Bufo Alvarius toads.
What is toad venom used for? The milky white venom of the Bufo Alvarius toad contains the alkaloid 5- methoxy- N, N- dimethyltryptamine (5-MEO-DMT) which has very powerful hallucinogenic properties. Although there have been rumors and urban legends about people licking toads to get high, those who use toad venom do not actually ingest it. Rather, they have been known to dry the venom and then smoke precisely measured quantities of it.
How do you get one of these remarkable toads? If you live in or wish to visit the southwest United States, the toad, known both as the Colorado River toad and the Sonoran Desert toad, is found mainly in the Sonoran Desert. Their known range reaches from the south east of California into lowland Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico, at elevations that vary from sea level all the way up to over 1500 meters.
Once you get to this area, you will want to know what to look for. The Bufo Alvarius is a large toad, the largest species native to North America. Their leathery skin coloration varies from olive brown to black, with warts colored pale orange and a beige colored undercarriage. It is remarkable for the large, unique oval to sausage-shaped glands on the upper sides of its arms and legs and on its neck. These are the glands that are milked for their venom.
A nocturnal amphibian, Bufo Alvarius spends most of the day under the ground and away from the bright sun and high temperatures of the Sonoran Desert. As darkness falls, they move outside and hang around moist areas near rivers and irrigation ditches. The best time to find them is during the breeding season, from May through July. Toad hunters should equip themselves with a cloth carrying sack and a good flashlight.
For someone who is interested in owning a Bufo Alvarius toad, whether for the purpose of milking its hallucinogenic venom or simply to have a fascinating and unusual pet, there is an alternative to making a trek to the Sonoran Desert and splashing around irrigation ditches with a flashlight after dark. That option is to purchase one, or perhaps a male and female pair of adult Colorado River toads. One company that offers these toads for sale, along with other ethnobotanical products, is Bounding Bear Botanicals. The company is based in Lawrence, Kansas, not the Sonoran Desert, but they have a convenient on-line system that allows customers to make purchases via the Internet. It should be noted that Bufo Alvarius toads are sold with the caution that they are poisonous, and should be kept away from children and animals.
Robert Scheer is a freelance journalist and consultant for the Bufo Alvarius Report web site. For more information visit http://www.bufoalvariusreport.com