Tyrone teenager Hannah McSorley has become a viral hit on TikTok for a very unlikely reason. The 17-year- old from Clanabogan, near Omagh has been documenting her experience of raising 37,000 tadpoles to frogs on the video sharing app where she has gathered over 40 million views.
Hannah’s tadpoles aren’t alone in her home where she also has a dog, two rabbits and six chickens. The animal lover hopes in the future to study to medicine or veterinary but she’ll always have her love of animals.
Hannah and her family have previously raised tadpoles and “it was always a tradition to take home a little jar of frog spawn and to watch them develop into tadpoles.”
Whilst out for a walk during the early stages of the lockdown with Paul (9), younger brother she noticed a frogspawn in an area that wouldn’t be traditional for frogspawn to grow and where it was unlikely they would survive.
She said, “I took them home because I knew they’d dry up in that area and I thought it would be a great educational element for my younger brother and I always found it fascinating to watch when I was growing up.”
Hannah then put together a short video on TikTok about her experience.“I put up a wee video because I thought it would be quite random but actually there was a lot of internet in the video so I kept going.” She said.
Speaking about the volume of the tadpoles, she said, “I started counting at one and ended up at 37,000 tadpoles.” She has already lost a few of her tadpoles. She said, “it’s natural enough that they won’t all survive and develop into frogs.” She hopes that this will result “in a good few thousand tadpoles growing into frogs”
Her daily routine now includes feeding and caring for her 37,000 tadpoles. It takes her around 20 minutes each day to feed her tadpoles and to clean out the pool they live in. Talking about her routine, she said, “I feed them boiled spinach, boiled cabbage, lettuce and chopped frozen cod. When they were in the larger tubs I had to spend more time cleaning them out and changing water. I’ve also got a small thin net on the top of the pool to stop the birds trying to eat them, or my dog trying to drink the water.”
Reflecting on the reaction to her viral tadpoles, Hannah said.
“Many people across social media have worried about the “plague-like” nature of all these frogs, and some are worried about their release disrupting the local eco-system where I live. That’s a very valid question but I’ve actually done tonnes of research into it because I’ve a love for the environment and I don’t want to disrupt the eco-system. I know it seems like a lot of frogs. We’ve had incredibly dry weather which means that so much of the natural tadpoles who would have survived have completely dried up and I honestly went out to see how many were left and I can’t find any of the original frogspawn or tadpoles I had seen before so I actually hope when I release my frog and froglets where I live it’ll have a positive affect”
Hannah has planned their release hoping to release them in small batches across a period of time in ponds, rivers, streams and puddles within a mile radius of where she found them which is in close proximity to where she lives. “There won’t be a massive surge of frogs” she laughed.
Hannah and her tadpoles have featured across a whole host of outlets including The Irish News, UTV, and RTE. As well as generating quite the conversation on Twitter.
Hannah and her tadpoles have certainly become one of the biggest social media hits of lockdown in Northern Ireland, who knows where they will hop to next!