Sludge trail leads customs officials to hide nearly 100 giant snails

Sludge trail leads customs officials to hide nearly 100 giant snails

German customs officials say a trail of slime led them to a stockpile of nearly 100 giant African land snails and other items hidden inside suitcases at Duesseldorf airport this month.

In a statement on Friday, officials said officials stumbled upon one of the snails in a luggage truck and initially thought it was a toy until it started moving. While following the trail left by the 20 centimeter snail, they found a bag with a hole in it, with another snail already peeking out – possibly setting up a race to freedom.

In total, authorities found six bags containing 93 giant snails, 62 kilograms of fish and smoked meat, and a suitcase full of rotting meat. All had been imported from Nigeria and were destined for an African merchandise store in western Germany.

The snails were delivered to an animal rescue service in Duesseldorf and the meat was destroyed, customs officials said.

“Never in the history of Duesseldorf customs has a trail of sludge led us to smuggled goods,” said his spokesman Michael Walk.

In July, Florida officials enacted a quarantine order for a county when invasive snail species reappeared in the state. The Florida Department of Agriculture called the giant African snail “one of the most harmful subtypes of molluscs in the world”. Complete eradication of a snail population can take years.

Florida authorities have used specially trained dogs to sniff out invasive species.

Source : www.cbsnews.com

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