Giant African Snails Found In Airline Passenger’s Luggage

Written by Deja Monet June 30, 2019
Photo Credit: US Customs And Borders

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents recently confiscated two Giant African Snails from a passenger’s luggage at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

FOX News reports the luggage was targeted by Candie and Chipper, two patrol dogs of the “Beagle Brigade” and alerted Agricultural Specialists to check the bag at the international baggage claim area. The agents searched through the luggage and found two live Giant African Snails and several illegal fruits and vegetables.

“Our beagles sniffing out these snails highlights how valuable our canine members are to protecting the U.S.”

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The snail is considered “one of the most damaging snails in the world” because it feeds on 500 different types of plants and can cause damage to stucco and plaster buildings. It was found in Florida back in the 1960s and was eradicated from the United States. It also contains a harmful parasitic nematode that can cause meningitis in humans.

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Customs agents turned over the snails to the USDA for evaluation and the food was destroyed. The passenger was not fined or charged for the incident. Authorities added that they were unsure if the snails entered the suitcase on their own or if they were intentionally brought over to the U.S.

Press play to learn more about the species in the video clip below.