DETROIT (FOX 2) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection found six live Giant African Snails inside of a suitcase as a traveler arrived at the Detroit Metro Airport recently - all of which were intended to be eaten.
The Giant African Snails were inside of a suitcase as a traveler arrived in the U.S. from Ghana and were immediately intercepted by the CBP. According to the CBP, they were all meant to be consumed, which can pose health risks to humans and the environment.
"Our CBP officers and agriculture specialists work diligently to target, detect, and intercept potential threats before they have a chance to do harm to U.S. interests," said Port Director Robert Larkin. "The discovery of this highly invasive pest truly benefits the health and well-being of the American people."
Giant African Snails can carry a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis in humans. The snails also can eat at least 500 different types of plants, along with plaster and stucco, meaning they can cause significant damage to structures and ecosystems.
They are considered a prohibited organism in the U.S., though they are popular for consumption and even kept as pets in other countries.
Gian African Snails found in a suitcase arriving at Detroit Metro Airport. Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection