MIXED FEELINGS: Cane toad coin purses are the next hottest accessory on offer at The Leather Shop in Kyogle.
MIXED FEELINGS: Cane toad coin purses are the next hottest accessory on offer at The Leather Shop in Kyogle. Contributed

Gross or amazing? Toad purses could be the next big thing

CANE toads are an invasive species in Australia, and there have been many programs put into place in an effort to eradicate the pest. However a Cairns company has come up with an ingenious, and slightly nauseating, solution.

Marino Leather has been creating genuine cane toad leather coin purses, created by humanely freezing the toad before tanning, and now Northern Rivers residents can get their hands on them.

The Leather Shop in Kyogle received a shipment only a few days ago, but store co-owner Mario Sanchez said the product has gone viral online, and he has made a number of sales already.

The Leather Shop is offering the vegetable-tanned cane toad coin pouches for $25, and there are a number of different types, including pouches with front legs and those without, as well as coloured varieties.

"From an environmental stand point, if we can create and support an economy around eradicating this invasive species in our country that is causing so much damage to the land and our native animals, then it is definitely worth supporting," he said.

"Every toad you buy is one less toad in our water ways."

Mr Sanchez said the public reaction towards the product has been mixed.

"We have people who love the idea of using the skins of an invasive pest to make something pretty and perhaps novel. The other half is sympathetic to the toad and its feelings," he said.

"Some people thing it is morbid, others think it is the best things they have seen."



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