Wildlife biologist Rich Mason never imagined that swimming pools could be so harmful to small wild animals. It wasn’t until friends of his called him to tell him that they were finding frogs dying in their outdoor pool that he gave it some serious thought.
“One morning, after a warm rainy night, an astonishing 53 frogs and toads were found in the pool,” Mason writes. “I spoke with other friends with swimming pools who also said frogs are regularly found in their pools. In addition to frogs, there was the occasional mole, mouse, baby bird, opossum, turtle, salamander, squirrel, bat, chipmunk, and more.”
Mason always had a strong interest in conservation of wildlife and realized that if his friend was having a problem, so too were the millions of pool owners across North America, if not the world.
He set out to see if there was a product that could help save the frogs falling into his friend’s pool. He didn’t find any that he thought would be helpful to the critters effectively, so he decided to invent his own. That’s how the FrogLog came into being.
The floating device/escape ramp has mesh and a makeshift ladder that animals (up to 1 lb) can pull themselves up on and then climb out. He gave early prototypes to friends to test out, and it grew from there with “hundreds of hours of research, product development, and testing in many different swimming pools”.
FrogLog Animal Saving Escape Ramp for Pool is now available for sale through Swimline, and Mason often receives stories about how his invention is saving lives.
A woman in Ontario, Canada wrote Mason to tell him she was initially skeptical, “but then I saw a baby Eastern fox snake use it to get out of our pool. This snake is an endangered species and protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act. I just wanted to let you know and say thank you.”
A California family also shared that the 10 Mallard ducklings that hatched in their backyard pool are getting a lot of use out of them.
Others have said the device has saved rabbits, rodents, moles and lizards.
For many people, they are grateful to not be fishing dead animals out of their pool in the mornings.
“It was such a relief to not find dead frogs in the pool’s filtration basket, or floating on the surface,” a Connecticut pool owner wrote. “I also had a resident bullfrog who lived comfortably in the pool, would haul out on the FrogLog for a rest, and use it to get into and out of the pool whenever he wished.”
What started out as a way to help frogs seems to be helping a lot of other animals.
For those interested, the FrogLog is available on Amazon.