BERLIN (AFP) - Hundreds of toads have met a bizarre and sinister end in Germany in recent days, it was reported: they exploded.
According to reports from animal welfare workers and veterinarians as many as a thousand of the amphibians have perished after their bodies swelled to bursting point and their entrails were propelled for up to a metre (three feet).
It is like "a science fiction film", according to Werner Smolnik of a nature protection society in the northern city of Hamburg, where the phenomenon of the exploding toad has been observed.
"You see the animals crawling on the ground, swelling and then exploding."
He said the bodies of the toads expanded to three and a half times their normal size.
"I have never seen such a thing," said veterinarian Otto Horst. So bad has the death toll been that the lake in the Altona district of Hamburg has been dubbed "the pond of death."
Access to it has been sealed off and every night a biologist visits it between 2:00 and 3:00 am, which appears to be peak time for batrachians to go bang.
Explanations include an unknown virus, a fungus that has infected the water, or crows, which in an echo of the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds", attack the toads, literally scaring them to death.
The eco-tourism show, called "Trippin'," premiered on March 28 and was heavily promoted in the runup to Earth Day. The show encourages environmental awareness and lauds traditional tribal lifestyles, which lack running water, electricity and other basic infrastructure.
Drew Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome." When Barrymore bragged about defecating in the forest, Diaz responded she would like to have the same experience.
"I am so jealous right now, I am going -- I am going to the woods tomorrow," Diaz said. A clearly satisfied Barrymore laughed, repeating, "It was awesome."
After her visit to Chile, Barrymore expressed guilt about not always adhering to earth-friendly practices. "Like I leave the light on all the time in my house because I want to feel safe. I am so spoiled, I am -- I am going to start conserving," Barrymore insisted. "It is just overwhelming how important it is to like, love our planet all the time and not take advantage of it," Barrymore concluded.
"Even the Sleestak are crying."
Will Ferrell will star in a feature-film remake of the 1970s TV show Land of the Lost. Universal acquired the feature rights from Sid and Marty Krofft, executive producers of the original NBC series, who will produce the feature for the studio.
Adam McKay, a former Saturday Night Live writer who directed Ferrell in Anchorman, is attached to direct, with Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas signing on to adapt the screenplay, the trade paper reported.