It was Mark's young son Anthony who nick-named the frog "Toughie." When asked why he picked that name, six-year-old Anthony exclaims, "Because he's the only one that made it!"
Toughie is originally from the lush rainforests of Panama, where he used to spread his large webbed hands and could glide for up to 30 feet from his home in the forest canopy above. Toughie must have felt like he was flying. But Toughie's gliding days are long gone. He will spend his last days here, in this unassuming grey shipping container called the FrogPOD, set in the back southwest corner of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He is far from his home, and he is utterly and completely alone in this world.
The shipping container is bio-secure, protecting eleven rare species of frogs saved from Panama on the same rescue mission in which Toughie was collected. All the species are critically endangered, but none more than Toughie. After changing our shoes to slippers kept in the lab so as not to introduce any dangerous bacteria or fungus, we enter the FrogPOD. It is warm and humid, consistently kept at a temperature near 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I make a beeline straight to Toughie's small home.