Six Giant African Snails seized from luggage at Detroit airport

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Six Giant African Snails, an invasive species in the US, were seized on March 9 by agriculture specialists at US Customs and Border Protection at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport after being removed from a Ghana traveler’s suitcase.

According to the Detroit News, Port Director Robert Larkin said in a press release, “Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to target, detect, and intercept potential threats before they have a chance to do harm to US interests. The discovery of this highly invasive pest truly benefits the health and well-being of the American people.”

In Ghana, the snails are often kept as pets and also served as food.

According to the National Invasive Species Information Center, Giant African Snails “attacks and feeds on hundreds of different plant species.” The giant gastropod mollusk is a quick breeder and makes roughly 1,200 eggs a year and is considered one of the most damaging pests globally. The creatures can consume over 500 varieties of plantlife. They eat stucco and plaster. They can transmit meningitis to humans and parasites such as nematode, lungworm, and salmonella.

According to the US Department of Agriculture they were discovered in the 1960s in Florida and it later took over $1 million and 10 years to end their reign of terror in the Sunshine State.

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