Nation & World News

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

By Mark Memmott on August 30th, 2013

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it’s too soon to declare victory, “we are confident that we will win this fight,” Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to “canine detector teams” that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

According to South Florida’s WTVJ-TV, one of the Labrador Retrievers out hunting snails is Bear — a U.S. Department of Agriculture canine who recently has been finding hundreds of snails each week (which is fewer than were being discovered last year, a decline that officials think is a sign they’re making progress).

As we said back in September 2011 when the snail invasion was detected, the snails eat about 500 different types of plants and can spread a parasite that causes a form of meningitis. Florida’s agriculture commission adds that:

“The snails can also cause structural damage to buildings; they consume plaster and stucco to acquire the calcium needed by the snails to grow their large shells. In large numbers, GALS can cause extensive damage.”

It’s thought that the invasion began with the smuggling of a few snails into Florida by a man who practices a traditional African religion. He reportedly convinced some followers to drink the snails’ juices. They became violently ill.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

AFL-CIO Supports Black Friday Strikes Against Walmart

Since 2012, Our Walmart, an employee labor group, has been staging strikes on the day after Thanksgiving. The group wants workers to get more full-time jobs and make a living wage of $15 an hour.


Thailand Blocks Access To Damaging Human Rights Report

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said this week that six months after a coup toppled the country’s elected government, the regime arrests its opponents and censors the media.


WTO Members Approve Historic Trade Deal

The World Trade Organization’s 160 members unanimously approved a first-ever multilateral trade deal which the group believes will boost global commerce by $1 trillion annually.


Women gather in the courtyard at the home of the two young victims' family in the village of Katra Sahadatganj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  India's largest state is under pressure to address atrocities against women.

Indian Investigators Deny Village Girls Were Raped, Murdered

Villagers said the two “untouchable” caste girls were gang-raped and then hanged from a tree in May, but the country’s equivalent of the FBI now says there was no rape and that they hanged themselves.


A closed circuit security camera shows Afghan security forces responding to an attack on a compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday.

Attacks In The Afghan Capital Kill 5

A suicide bomb attack on a British diplomatic vehicle killed five people, including a British national. Later, a blast and gunfire were heard in the city’s diplomatic area.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments