Wildlife officials must leap into action

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Officials say that some traps, with mice inside, have been placed in various isolated shoreline habitats, in the hope that they will lure the predators. As we go to press, only one giant frog had been captured.

An expert in invasive amphibian species, Dr. Maria Consalves of New York University, took a much more sanguine approach to the problem. “Invasive critters come and go,” she said. “We may not be able to round up all the frogs or find their eggs, and so we will adapt.” She pointed out that communities where bears wander into homes or coyotes appear in backyards learn to cope and protect their children and domestic animals.

Further, Consalves suggested a more positive and “green” approach: to use the invaders for food. She offered two recipes from her cookbook, published three years ago, “Amphibians a la Carte.” Some may find this outrageous, but it is considered a legitimate alternative method of dealing with a potential threat.

Frog fritters
2 tbsp. oil
4 frog cutlets
1/3 cup panko crumbs
1 beaten egg
Salt, pepper, lemon juice

Dip cutlets in egg and then crumbs. Fry for 3 minutes on each side. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Consalves suggests a sauvignon blanc as an accompaniment.

Frog a l’orange
One large frog, skinned and cut into chunks
1 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. orange juice
1 can Italian tomatoes with juice
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic
2 carrots
1 zucchini, in slices

Dredge the frog chunks in flour and sauté until brown. Set aside. Sauté garlic and onion, add other vegetables, orange juice, cook for 5 minutes and add frog meat. Simmer for 25 minutes. Consalves suggests a light red sparking wine to accompany the meal.

Admittedly, Consalves’s easy-going attitude is not shared by many residents of our South Shore communities. A group has been formed to urge immediate action by Long Island Department of Wildlife officials to protect our precious animal habitats, our domestic animals and our children.

The group, Citizens to Eradicate Giant Frogs, or CEGF, may be reached at its website. Donations and hands-on assistance are welcome to fight this amphibian enemy. To contact CEGF, go to www.happyaprilfoolsday.com.

Copyright © 2014 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.

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