Airport Officials In L.A. Seize 67 Live Giant African Snails Meant For Human Consumption

That there snail is mighty big. (USDA)

That there snail is mighty big. (USDA)

Diners with an appetite for giant African snails in California will have to find another batch of the prohibited animals to snack on, after U.S. Customs and Border protection inspectors at the Los Angeles International Airport seized 67 of the live guys, which were destined for someone in San Dimas (otherwise known as the home of Bill and Ted).

In another episode of “Crazy Things You Can’t Fly Into America, Silly,” someone in Nigeria sent the mollusks to the U.S., a customs spokeswoman said. The snails are some of the largest land snails in the world and can grow up to 8 inches long, the Associated Press reports.

But while they’re a delicacy in West African countries — costing up to $50 for a party of six — they’re an illegal species here because they could carry parasites that are harmful to humans. They’re also bad for our wildlife, says the CBP program manager for agriculture.

“These snails are seriously harmful to local plants because they will eat any kind of crop they can get to,” she said.

As such, the 67 snails were incinerated. It’s still unclear why one person would want so many snails, the program manager adds.

“We’re investigating what happened but it doesn’t seem like there was smuggling involved. When someone doesn’t know a commodity is prohibited under USDA regulations there is usually no punishment,” she said.

Giant African snails seized at Los Angeles airport [Associated Press]

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