Friday, October 19, 2007
Giant Snails, Once a Delicacy, Overrun Brazil
"Thats what you get for eating us all these years" the snails PR manager told sources.
The giant African snail, originally brought to Brazil as a delicacy for gourmet restaurants, has instead become a major nuisance in the country.
The invasive mollusk—which can measure nearly 8 inches (about 20 centimeters) long and weigh more than 1 pound (500 grams)—is widespread in Brazil, thriving in nearly every state.
The snail is currently at the height of its invasion, experts say, and the its success makes eradication near-impossible.
Silvana Thiengo is a mollusk expert from Brazil's national health organization, the Oswaldo Cruz Institute.
"Raining season starts in November, and that's when they like to [lay] eggs," she said. "The snails will show up more, so we do expect the situation to get worse."