Watch.. Giant African snails invade Venezuela

Watch.. Giant African snails invade Venezuela
Watch.. Giant African snails invade Venezuela

Watch.. Giant African snails invade Venezuela

Western Venezuela is witnessing an invasion of giant African snails, which can transmit meningitis and crop plague, and their spread is likely due to recent heavy rains in the region, local authorities and the NGO Fundacion Azul Ambientalista said on Friday.

Additional areas of focus

The first “colonies” of the southern desert snail Achatina fulica were discovered in November on the shores of Lake Maracaibo in the city of the same name, capital of Zulia state.

Then other foci of spread appeared in other areas of this state in western Venezuela and in the neighboring state of Tachira.

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Maracaibo Mayor Rafael Ramirez told AFP on Friday that in some places “between 350 and 400 snails are collected every day”.

Warnings about soft gastropods have been posted on social media and the municipality of Maracaibo has taken action with the national and Zulia governments to limit their spread.

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It is noteworthy that the Achatina snail has attracted the attention of the cosmetics industry due to the possibility of using its saliva in some of its products, and it has been in Venezuela since 1997. It had already invaded some of its regions in 2017, but to a lesser extent, according to Jose Sandoval of Fundación Athol Impetalista. “.

“It gets complicated because this time the snails are big and mature and have laid eggs,” he said.

He added: “We are facing an invasion and therefore it is very difficult to eliminate them, but it is possible to control their presence,” according to the Agence France-Presse.

Watch.. Giant African snails invade Venezuela

It transmits serious diseases

Sandoval explained that the spread of these snails “is not caused by observation” but that the only reason is the weather, explaining that it was due to the heavy rains that year.

Because of their ability to reproduce (up to 600 eggs every 15 days) and their average lifespan of up to six years, these snails are among the most invasive species, harmful to crops and even human health as they can transmit diseases such as meningitis.

It is worth noting that the authorities in the US state of Florida, for their part, lamented the invasion of these snails, which can reach 20 centimeters in size, last July.


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