Customs officers on the Detroit Metropolitan Airport made an uncommon – and doubtlessly harmful – discovery in a passenger’s baggage: Six large African snails.

The snails, which have been alive, have been discovered within the suitcase of a traveler who arrived in Detroit from the west African nation of Ghana, in response to a Friday information launch from US Customs and Border Safety.

The critters are thought of a “prohibited organism” within the US as a result of they will trigger illnesses in people and might wreak important havoc within the setting if launched within the wild, in response to the information launch.

Regardless of this, folks all over the world eat the snails and preserve them as pets in some international locations.

“Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to focus on, detect, and intercept potential threats earlier than they’ve an opportunity to do hurt to U.S. pursuits,” stated port director Robert Larkin within the information launch. “The invention of this extremely invasive pest actually advantages the well being and well-being of the American folks.”

Native to east Africa, the snails can develop as much as 8-inches lengthy. Large African snails can carry a parasite referred to as rat lungworm that results in meningitis in people. As well as, they eat a minimum of 500 various kinds of vegetation, and even eat the plaster and stucco off homes as a supply of calcium, which may result in environmental harm if they’re launched into the wild, Customs and Border Safety stated.

In July, a Florida county was positioned below quarantine after officers found a fast-growing inhabitants of the snails. The inhabitants was thought to have originated within the unlawful pet commerce.

A earlier inhabitants of large African snails present in Miami-Dade County took 10 years and tens of millions of {dollars} and to be totally eradicated. The snails can produce as much as 2,500 eggs per yr, so the inhabitants is troublesome to manage.

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