Customs seizes 15 giant land snails from woman’s carry on

HOUSTON — It wasn’t snakes on a plane but rather snails on a plane.

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Customs and Border Protection said that they stopped a woman who was traveling from Nigeria to the U.S.

They said they found 15 live giant land snails inside her carry-on bag,

The discovery was made earlier this month at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The woman had claimed dried beef on her form but eventually amended it to include the snails.

The gastropods were found during a search of the woman’s luggage in three zip-closed bags with fresh leaves and a quarter-pound of beef, officials said.

The snails, which are also called Banana Rasp Snails, are invasive and could impact “agriculture, natural ecosystems, human health or commerce,” officials said.

They are native to West Africa and affect fruit crops and plants. They can also carry the rat lungworm, a parasite that could cause rare forms of meningitis in humans.

The snails that were confiscated were given to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for disposal, Customs officials said.

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