While it looks harmless and even slightly cute this frog is not allowed in the state of North Carolina. It’s a Cuban Tree Frog which is considered invasive and therefore is a restricted species of frog in the state. The frog was found in the car of someone who had driven to North Carolina from Florida.
According to UFWildlife, the frog is “native to Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas. These treefrogs were accidentally brought to Florida in the 1920s.” Even then they were hitchhiking. Though in that case, it was most likely in cargo containers on ships. Cuban Treefrogs are considered invasive in because of their likelihood to harm ecosystems as well as cause issues for humans. They secrete a ‘slime’ from their skin that can irritate the human nose and eyes, and even trigger asthma attacks.
The frog was turned over to BeWild Reptile Rescue, the organization then filed for an educational permit with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to be able to keep and study the animal. They were approved for the permit but the animal will have to permanently reside at the rescue.
It was smart thinking by the driver to reach out to the rescue. I most likely would have just opened my door and unknowingly release a restricted species of frog into the wild.