QUEENS — Nearly two dozen highly invasive giant snails were found inside a man’s luggage at John F. Kennedy International Airport Sunday, officials said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection specialists conducted a baggage examination of a man who arrived on a flight from Ghana and found 22 Giant African Snails.
Giant African Snails are known to be one of the most damaging snails in the world because it consumes at least 500 types of plants, which threatens U.S. agricultural resources and can cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments, according to Customs.
The snails also pose a health risk to humans as it carries a parasitic nematode that can lead to meningitis.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, these Giant African Snails were first found in southern Florida in the 1960s, and it took about 10 years and $1 million to eradicate it. It was reintroduced in Miami in 2011.
During the examination, authorities also discovered, collectively, 24 pounds of prohibited oxtail, dried beef, turkey berry, carrot, medicinal leaves and prekese, a traditional African spice and medicinal plant product, officials said.