B2 Use of English Multiple Choice Exam 14
Were toads on the road sensing a quake?
Now this is (1) . In early May a massive toad migration perplexed people in a village near Mianzhu, Sichuan province. Hundreds of thousands of the amphibians were milling around near a pharmaceutical factory, many getting crushed (2) passing cars on the road, according to the West China Urban Daily on May 10.
The paper (3) that some residents were wondering if the weird animal behaviour could portend an impending disaster. Others interviewed on local TV thought the toad congregation was a lucky sign (4) "They appeared in 2008, the year China hosts the Olympics. Maybe even animals are coming out to welcome the Olympics!" speculated one, who said he (5) such an assembly of toads before.
Experts of the local Forestry Bureau (6) to check it out. The scientists found a large number of the amphibians hopping around in a drainage ditch behind the factory, where the water was (7) elsewhere. Bureau head Shu Shi was quoted as saying the fact that it was the final phase of the toad-breeding season, plus two days of nonstop rain and the warmer temperature of the ditchwater, had created perfect conditions (8) the creatures to hatch and then hop en masse to higher ground: "This is a normal phenomenon, it has nothing to do with a natural calamity."
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