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Tiny Frog Found in Box of Lettuce Gets Adopted

INTERNATIONAL: A tiny frog found in a box of romaine lettuce became an overnight viral sensation after several escape attempts and its eventual adoption by the man who found it. A 35-year-old singer-songwriter from Tulsa, Oklahoma Simon Curtis has found the green tree frog in a box of lettuce last Monday, four days after he bought the salad greens.

Curtis says, "I was prepping my dinner, and I had opened a box of lettuce. And I was using the very last bit of the romaine and I pulled it out and then I saw at first what I thought was another bit of lettuce at the bottom and then I realised that it was a frog, just sitting there perfectly still, and I kinda shouted and was like 'Oh my God!"

Curtis sought help and advice on Twitter on what to do, as it was -2°C (28°F) in Tulsa at the time and the frog would have frozen to death if it had been released.

He says, "I put all the lettuce back... I gave him a mason jar (lid) upside-down filled with water. And then I took a spray bottle inside and hosed everything down, including him, so he will be nice and wet."

He later named the frog Tony, and said that finding him had been a full circle moment; as a leukemia survivor, Curtis spent part of his childhood in the hospital accompanied by none other than a tree frog soft toy. He says Tony himself, feels like such a little survivor.

He has added, "When I was a kid, I had leukemia and I was given a 50/50 chance of surviving. And I was very sick in the hospital for a long time. When I was in the hospital I begged my parents for the stuffed animal from the gift shop, and it was a tree frog, and I found pictures of it yesterday and it really made me emotional because I had this tree frog with me this entire time through that experience, and Tony himself, he feels like such a little survivor. That it was really beautiful having this full circle moment. It made me very emotional and it really felt like a Christmas miracle."

Animals found in supermarket greens are not a rare occurrence - there were 40 unique incidents of unwanted frogs, birds or rodents in pre-packaged greens across the United States between 2003 to 2018, according to a 2019 study by University of Illinois researcher David Hughes, with at least nine frogs found alive while still in the box.

Tony the frog's stay with Curtis has been eventful, however, with several escape attempts until Curtis purchased a small temporary terrarium for the amphibian. He had been found up on a door frame and even between shampoo bottles in the shower.

The frog story has went viral in social media and touched many. Curtis says it served as a "good reminder of just how much we all deserve kindness. He stresses that we really are all on our own miraculous journey, in a box, waiting for someone to find us and show us true kindness.

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