Giant African Land Snails

News
1:56 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Pssst! Want a Hedgehog? Florida Wildlife Officials Seek Exotic Pet Owners

A state wildlife official poses with a tiny hedgehog. The mammals are among the exotic animals some Florida pet owners find too high-maintenance to keep
Credit Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

When exotic pets get too big, noisy or hungry to handle, their owners sometimes feel they have no choice but to release them into the wild.  

That’s the main reason Burmese pythons and other big snakes got a foothold in the Everglades, where they're wreaking havoc on native ecosystems.  But help is on the way for South Florida's overwhelmed exotic pet owners.

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Invasive Species
7:13 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Broward Shudders As Giant African Snails Cross Border From Miami-Dade

BAG OF TROUBLE: A state worker shows the African land snails she found in a yard in the Broward County town of Davie. The invasive creatures previously had been seen only in Miami-Dade County.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

A big fear of state agriculture officials isn't a fear anymore. It's reality.

The giant African land snails that have plagued Miami-Dade County -- but only Miami-Dade County -- for three years have now spread to Broward County.

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Year In Review
7:43 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Florida Is Weird. But Here's What Was Weirdest This Year.

Credit Sammy Mack, John Spade, Roberto Koltun, Andrew Derksen / WLRN, Flickr, El Nuevo Herald, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Cooperative Pest Survey Program

Florida can be a pretty weird place, and it's something of a holiday tradition for news organizations throughout the state to put together lists of the weirdest stories of the year. (Read our "Why South Florida Can't Have Nice Things" roundup from last year.)

We decided to go straight to the people on the front lines: WLRN-Miami Herald News anchors, producers, editors and reporters. Here are what they thought were the most bizarre Florida stories of 2013. 

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Invasive Species
3:09 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

"Bear," who has been trained to sniff out Giant African Land Snails.
Joe Skipper Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 11:41 am

More than 128,000 Giant African Land Snails have been found and eradicated in the two years since the highly destructive creatures invaded the Miami-Dade area, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam says.

While it's too soon to declare victory, "we are confident that we will win this fight," Putnam adds.

Part of the credit, officials say, should go to "canine detector teams" that are sniffing out snails in places that are tough for humans to search.

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Invasive Species
2:43 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Got Giant African Land Snails? Release The Hounds!

Will sniff snails for treats: Bear, a three-year-old black lab, is being trained to follow the scent of giant African land snails.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

In the ongoing assault on invasive giant African land snails, Florida is ready to release the hounds.

Literally.

The state will be adding snail-sniffing dogs to its team of 50 full-time snail hunters.

RELATED: Dogs Prove To Be Key In Battle Against Giant African Snails

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