Christmas Trees Could Bring an Unexpected Gift

Monday, Dec 21, 2009  |  Updated 5:37 AM PDT
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Christmas Trees Could Bring an Unexpected Gift

Getty Images/Flickr RM

Be careful of what you find in your Christmas tree.

The holiday season may bring an unexpected gift to the Bay Area.

Some Christmas trees originiating in Anchorage, Alaska are making their way into the lower 48 with a colorful, living ornament — live Pacific Chorus frogs.

While the small frogs are very cute, measuring an inch or two with lovely moss-colored green sides and black spots, Alaska state officials are asking residents to hide their PETA cards and practice some tough love.

If you find a Christmas tree frog, kill it.

That's because the cute frogs — whose joyful chorus is often used for movie soundtracks — could be carrying some ugly viruses and funguses, including chytrid fungus that is devastating amphibians around the world and could turn your holiday cheer into a heavy heart of guilt.

So far there have been no sightings, or killings, in California.

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