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Rat-sized snails that 'eat walls of houses' seized at US airport

The slimy molluscs weigh almost two pounds each, and there were dozens of them.

Giant Snails Seized Eight inches long and coming at you slowly: the giant African snail Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS

DOZENS OF LIVE giant snails up to eight inches long have been seized in the US after they were discovered in an airport.

Sixty-seven of the giant African snails – the world’s largest mollusc – were discovered inside two picnic baskets that arrived from Nigeria.

Giant Snails Seized In case you hadn't noticed, this person is using two hands to hold a single snail. Source: AP

The snails are illegal in the US. Weighing close to two pounds each and roughly the size of a smallish rat, the giant creatures have been known to eat at the walls of houses – consuming paint and plaster off them, the New York Times reports.

The snails are a popular delicacy across West Africa.

File photo of a giant African snail Source: USDAgov

The snails are also agricultural pests, said Maveeda Mirza, the Customs and Border Protection program manager for agriculture.

“These snails are seriously harmful to local plants because they will eat any kind of crop they can get to,” Mirza said. She said authorities are investigating why a single person would want so many snails.

All the snails were incinerated.

Source: AP

More: Rat-sized snails are taking over South Florida>

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