ATLANTA (WSAV) – A live Giant African Snail was found in a traveler’s suitcase at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport last Tuesday.
According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a member of the department’s “Beagle Brigade,” Mox, made the discovery. The beagle also found prohibited goat meat, cow skins, melon seeds and vegetables, the CBP said.
The traveler, a U.S. citizen, had just arrived on a flight from Nigeria and continued on her journey to Texas, according to CBP.
“This was a significant discovery for our agriculture K9 team—a critical component of our nation’s frontline defense against all animal pests that threaten our agricultural resources,” said CBP Atlanta Area Port Director Clay Thomas.
The Giant African Snail is said to be one of the most damaging snails in the world. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the species consumes at least 500 types of plants and can cause structural damage to structures made of plaster and stucco.
The snail also poses a risk to humans, carrying a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis.