University receives necessary permit to house horned frogs on campus

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    After receiving the necessary permit from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, TCU will be able to house two live horned frogs on campus after it finalizes designs for their habitat, Student Body President Jackie Wheeler said.

    Preston Patry, a senior political science major, said by having the horned frogs on campus, students could see what a real horned frog looks like and show support for the university.

    “I’m pretty proud to be a Horned Frog and would love to have [them] on campus,” Patry said.

    The horned frog is the state reptile and a protected species, so it is illegal to obtain the horned frog without proper permits, Patry said.

    The permits were obtained through TCU biology professor Dean Williams, who already had permits for biological research on horned frogs. Patry said the permit to house the horned frogs on campus was an extension of Williams’ research permits.

    Patry, who has been working to obtain live horned frogs for the university since his freshman year, according to Skiff archives.

    Wheeler said SGA wanted to help get the horned frogs on-campus and that the project has been an important step for TCU school spirit. The most difficult obstacle had been accomplished by getting the permit to house the horned frogs, she said.

    SGA just had to wait to finalize the design for the habitats and determine exact pricing, Wheeler said. SGA has allotted $20,000 in its budget to bring the horned frogs to campus, she said.

    The plan says that one horned frog will be housed in the Brown-Lupton University Union, while the other would be in an outdoor terrarium by the University Recreation Center, Wheeler said.

    Patry said the TCU Rangers, a campus football spirit group, will be the organization primarily responsible for taking care of the lizards on a day-to-day basis. The Rangers would undergo a “crash course” training from Williams and receive information on how to care for the lizards, he said.

    Senior Cy Goudge, former TCU Rangers president and geography major, said the exact details, like how many times a day the horned frogs will be fed and when the habitat will be cleaned, have not been decided yet.

    Goudge said in future years, the Rangers hoped to expand its responsibilities, such as standing by the horned frogs during Monday at TCU tours. The live mascots on campus would become a talking point to help recruit prospective students during campus tours, he said.

    He said having a live mascot is a tradition both students and alumni could support in years to come.

    “This just gives us one more step forward toward solidifying a tradition…[and] adds some history to the school,” Goudge said.

    Just what is a Horned Frog?

    The horned frog is actually a lizard. It gets its “nickname” from the rounded body that makes it look like a frog.

    The Texas horned frog is a protected species and it is illegal to have one without a permit.

    The horned frog’s diet is mostly made up of ants, but it also eat beetles, spiders and grasshoppers.

    The horned frog lives in hot environments as a way of controlling its body temperature.

    The number of Texas horned frogs has declined in recent years because of losses of habitat.

    Some Native Americans regard the horned frog as sacred.

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