Dogs have joined in the battle over giant snails in Florida, according to an Aug. 29 Reuters report via Yahoo News. The Giant African Land Snail is incredibly destructive and invasive, and officials in the state want to eradicate these non-native snails.
Labrador retrievers are the latest weapon against these giant snails in Florida. They have only been in the state for two years, but they have quickly swept across the entire Miami area. So far 128,000 of the snails have been collected as officials work to eradicate the species. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said,
"We see a lot of strange things in Florida and this one makes the top of the list. It is a very serious pest."
The giant snails eat not only plants, but also stucco and plaster, which can cause astonishing damage to houses and buildings. So far, the state has spent $6 million in the war against the creatures because they not only damage things, but they can also cause human illness like meningitis, so they are a serious threat to the region.
Of the Labrador retrievers joining the fight against giant snails, Richard Gaskalla, the head of plant industry at the Florida Agriculture Department said,
"They're very good at detecting the Giant African Land Snail. So we're building four-legged technology into this program as quickly as we can."
It is great that these specially trained dogs will be able to help root out these infestations. Although it sounds like a science fiction nightmare, these creatures are real and dangerous. Hopefully Florida is able to get them under control and keep them from spreading.