Coleman Frog - Atlas Obscura

Coleman Frog

Fredericton Region Museum
Fredericton, New Brunswick

This bullfrog grew to an alleged weight of 42 pounds on a diet of whiskey, baked beans, and June bugs. 


In 1885, Fred Coleman was out on his boat in Killarney Lake when a bullfrog jumped in with him. Coleman took the seemingly ordinary frog in and spent the next eight years feeding it a diet of cornmeal, baked beans, June bugs, and the occasional drink of whiskey. As a result, the frog grew to a whopping 42 pounds. Although shy, it was said to come when called and entertain Fred’s guests.

One day, the frog was “accidentally” killed in a dynamite blast. The Coleman family sent his remains to a taxidermist. The frog was then displayed in a glass case at Fred’s hotel in Fredericton where it was used as an ashtray for inebriated hotel patrons. A photo at the hotel shows a large frog with speckled skin that looks fairly different than the one on display at the museum. 

Though the Coleman frog is often referred to as “he,” analysis of the taxidermy suggests that the Coleman Frog was female.

The Coleman frog has been sent away for conservation treatment and while the taxidermy methods used were consistent with late 19th-century techniques, its authenticity is unclear. There have been allegations that the unusually-sized bullfrog is a fake, but the museum insists that it is no hoax. They have declined to do DNA testing on the remains.

Know Before You Go

The museum is currently $6 for adults to enter and $3 for students. Also inside the museum is an exhibit on Stanton Friedman, a man who dedicated his life to UFO research.

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