Thailand toad travels 6,000 miles to UK stowed away in Cardiff University student's suitcase

The toad had travelled nearly 6,000 miles from Thailand to the UK inside one of Hannah Turian's shoes. Credit: Hannah Turian / Media Wales

A woman was terrified when a toad "jumped out" of her suitcase after returning to the UK from a trip to Thailand.

Hannah Turian, a Cardiff University student, had travelled to Thailand to volunteer in a school.

When she arrived home at 1:30am, following a 35 hour journey, she unpacked her toothbrush and a few other items from her suitcase without noticing anything out of the ordinary. But the following morning, she was in for a shock.

Hannah said: "I was up early because I was quite jet lagged. I heard something moving and didn't know what it was. Then I saw something had moved in my suitcase so I shut the suitcase, ran out of my room and screamed.

The toad had survived a 35 hour journey inside Hannah's suitcase. Credit: Hannah Turian / Media Wales

"My housemate woke up and we carried the suitcase to the bathroom. A toad jumped out. I was so scared, because some things in Thailand are quite dangerous. We didn't know if it was venomous."

Hannah and her housemate phoned the RSPCA but say they were advised that there was nobody available to collect the toad until the next day at the earliest.

By this stage the toad was looking a bit worse for wear. Following a 35 hour journey, including 13 hours in the plane's hold, his skin had turned a dull shade of green and he immediately jumped into a bowl of water that Hannah left out.

Fortunately, a hero stepped forward to rescue the toad in the form of Jackie, who re-homes reptiles in her house in Cwmbran. Her collection includes a bearded dragon, a leopard gecko and a red iguana.

'Definitely a first'

Jackie, who named the toad Ozzy, said: "A toad from a shoe in a suitcase in Cardiff is definitely a first. We've had a couple of calls before when bananas have been imported and little frogs have come across with those, but never these toads.

"He's a Common Asian toad. He's doing okay, he had a lot of food yesterday and a nice flush through of water - and some woodlice and bugs, a little snack."

Jackie also confirmed that Ozzy isn't venomous - something she was cautious of, showing up to Hannah's house wearing gloves and with a quarantine area prepared.

She said: "We're hoping Ozzy will be alright. When they're wild caught, they've got to come into a domestic household which they can find a bit strenuous, and they don't always show that they're ill. But he's made the night, and he's eaten. Toads are quite robust. He's done well, bless him."