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

Scientists Discover Evidence of a 435,000-Year-Old Murder

Scientists say it’s not just a murder from another era, but also part of one of the earliest mass graves.


Tracy Morgan, Wal-Mart Settle Lawsuit Over Truck-Limousine Crash

The actor sued the retail giant for negligence last year after he was seriously injured in a crash in which his limousine was struck by a Wal-Mart truck traveling 20 mph over the speed limit.


This rabbit wasn't the one killed in Denmark.

Danish Broadcaster Says Killing Of Rabbit On Air Highlighted Hypocrisy

The rabbit was clubbed to death during a debate on animal cruelty. Radio24syv says it wanted a debate about the hypocrisy toward perceptions of cruelty toward animals. Critics aren’t buying it.


Rick Santorum speaks in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 24, 2012. The Republican announced Wednesday that he is running for president.

Rick Santorum Announces Presidential Run

The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania appeals to his party’s social conservatives. Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses in 2012, but this time around he faces a crowded Republican field.


Research Chimps Get Their Day In Court In New York

But neither Hercules nor Leo, who are at the center of a legal battle over whether chimpanzees should have the same legal rights as people, were physically present in the Manhattan courtroom.


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
Underwriting Payments