May 22, 2024
A trail of slime led German customs officials to a stash of nearly 100 giant African land snails hidden inside bags at Duesseldorf Airport, authorities said Friday.

A trail of slime led German customs officials to a stash of nearly 100 giant African land snails hidden inside bags at Duesseldorf Airport, authorities said Friday.

Officials came across a giant 8-inch snail on a baggage truck and thought it was a toy until it started moving, authorities said. By following the snail’s slime trail, officials found a bag with a hole that had another snail already looking out, which led them to five additional bags that contained a total of 93 snails, according to the Associated Press.

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A suitcase full of rotting meat and 62 pounds of fish and smoked meat were also discovered by customs and had been imported from Nigeria.

The items were destined for an African goods store in western Germany, the outlet reported, but were destroyed instead. The snails were handed to an animal rescue service in Duesseldorf.

“Never in the history of the Duesseldorf customs office has a trail of slime led us to smuggled goods,” customs spokesman Michael Walk told the outlet.

The Florida Department of Agriculture called the giant African land snail “one of the most damaging mollusk subtypes in the world” after the species resurfaced in the state this summer. At 4 months old, a single land snail can lay thousands of eggs at a time.

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Florida officials enacted a quarantine in Pasco County in July after over 1,000 giant land snails were spotted in the area. Officials have been using specially trained dogs to sniff out the species, but it can take years to eradicate the species completely, according to a department press release.

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