Interview with an Amphibian

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Zovargo’s Ambassador of the month, Mr. Ripley.  Ripley is an Ornate Horned frog, also known as a Pacman Frog.  It was truly a pleasure to chat with this mild mannered and enthusiastic amphibian.

Photo Credit: Jorge Ibarra

Photo Credit: Jorge Ibarra

What is a typical day like for Mr. Ripley?

My days are booked solid, for I am an extremely busy frog! I start off by claiming a corner of my enclosure and digging a nice deep hole and burying myself in substrate.  Ah, relaxing.  I keep my eyes peeled for any prey that might scamper by.  After napping for a few more hours, sometimes I get invited to go to school or be a special guest at a birthday party!  I represent all frog-kind and help teach about conservation of my wild relatives! Thankfully I don’t have to move a muscle as Zovargo does all the heavy lifting and transporting.  Once I’m home, I’ll take a nap, and wake up just in time for dinner! Once the sun goes down, my inner party animal comes out!  I enjoy chilling in my water dish and quench my thirst by absorbing water through my skin.  So refreshing! Afterwards, I half-hop back to my corner (tiny legs only take you so far) and I slip into another slumber as the sun awakens.  I’m living the dream.

What is it like working with Zovargo?

Frog-tastic! Zovargo serves me food on silver tongs and my heart leaps for joy!  I love being chauffeured to school assemblies and birthday parties.  While I’m a little too shy to participate in feeding demonstrations for the kiddos, I have no problem putting on show at home for Amanda and Larry!  I appreciate how Zovargo brings attention to the sensitivity of our skin and encourages people not to handle frogs like me for extended periods of time and shares the importance of frogs as an indicator species to help preserve my home.

Are you more of a hunter or gatherer?

Definitely a hunter! It’s in my nature! I am an ambush hunter, meaning, I wait for prey to come my way and then I attack!  How do I accomplish such a brilliant feat without exerting much effort?  I ingeniously burry myself with only my eyes popping out above ground level.  As an added bonus, I cleverly disguise myself among the dirt and moss with my bumpy green and brown skin. 

What is your favorite food?

Mr Ripley Eats Worms

Believe it or not, I can eat a whole lot! Being an ambush hunter, I prefer meals that come to me.  I like to chow down on crickets, roaches, and a variety of worms.  I’ll even indulge myself with a pinkie mouse from time to time.  I have yet to try fish, but I’m excited to try one! My favorite kind of food is anything I can get my chops around!  If it fits in my mouth, it’s not coming out! I may be passive, but I’m not too picky.

If you could be an animal what animal would you be and why?

As an amphibian, I’m able to thrive in both terrestrial and aquatic environments.  Talk about living the best of both worlds!  Sometimes I dream about being a tree frog like Mr. F and Buddy, just to see what it would be like to view the world from such a high perspective and jump 50 times my body length!  Then I remember how glorious it is being a pacman frog and the mere thought of jumping just twice my body length is exhausting.  If I had to be another animal, I think I would be an American Pigmy Shrew, who eats three times their body weight daily! Man can those guys eat!

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

I was lounging in my water dish at a school event and the kiddos were walking past my display and peering in with shinning eyes.  I locked eyes with a little girl and slowly shifted my gazes to a yummy bright pink bug holding her hair out of her face. I mustered up my strength and leaped toward her to snatch the bugger from her head and she called me a toad! A TOAD!? How absurd!

What two organization outside of Zovargo do you support the most and why?

Save The Frogs! They are the world's most effective amphibian conservation organization. I truly believe in their mission to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife. They work in California, across the USA, and around the world to prevent the extinction of amphibians, and to create a better planet for humans and wildlife.

Project Wildlife does a commendable job at making sure injured wildlife is safely returned to their homes. Like Zovargo, PW provides public educational programs to promote conservation and preservation of our planet and all who inhabit it! What more could you ask for?

Tell me and our readers something about you that most people might not already know.

Well, if you haven’t noticed already, I am mostly all mouth and stomach.  To help swallow my snacks I suck my eyeballs into my head to help direct the food down my throat.  Don’t believe me? Check out Zovargo and see it with your own eyes!

Is it true that touching your skin will give people warts?

Just about as true as frog’s having extremely long tongues—which is entirely false!  Stick out your tongue and look in the mirror; frogs’ tongues are as proportional to their bodies as ours is to us.  So no, having skin to skin contact with frogs does not give you warts, but it is not recommended to handle frogs. Due to our ability to breathe and drink water through our skin, we will absorb all the natural oils on your hands, even if you wash them thoroughly! *croaks* Do frogs give you warts? Humans are so gullible. How ridiculous!

What other Zovargo Animal Ambassador is your closest friend?

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches! They are delicious—I mean delightful—friends to have! 

 

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Larry Miller

Coming from a family that would go out of their way for any stray animal; the concepts of care, rescue, and rehabilitation for all animals was instilled within Larry’s core values as a young child. As a way to connect with the world and give back to the planet he is an advocate for conservation.

Larry studied Microbiology at the University of California Santa Barbara before pursuing a career in the IT field. Having held numerous Information Technology (IT) support roles throughout his profession; interacting and mentoring individuals are common daily tasks. He is also an active volunteer for multiple wildlife organizations.

When not implementing new technologies, Larry spends his free time tending to wildlife rehabilitation patients, volunteering at booth events, giving presentations, speeches and talks for various audiences. You’ll find him researching and studying in an effort to support the continuous development of new education programs. Zovargo is the ideal platform that allows him to combine his skills and devotion to conservation awareness.