Dog mates Candie and Chipper, members of the CBP's "Beagle Brigade", alerted customs officials on Sundays to a checked bag from Nigeria at the international baggage claim. In it, according to a press release from the CBP, there were two African giant snails – a particularly invasive species – and banned fruits and vegetables.
What's so bad about a few snails? According to the US Department of Agriculture, this type of snail is "one of the most harmful" in the world as it breeds quickly – about 1,200 eggs per year – and eats at least 500 species of plants, including peanuts and melons. You can also damage the structure of plaster and stucco buildings.
And once they get in, it's hard to get them out. When African giant snails were first discovered in South Florida in the 1
960s, it took a decade and $ 1 million to eradicate them, the USDA said. The extermination efforts continue after the snails were reintroduced in 2011.
"CBP is at the forefront of the action 24/7 looking for things that might end up in our country and potentially harm our citizens," said Lee Deloatch, Atlanta CBP Acting Port Director in a statement. "Our beagles sniffing at these slugs illustrate how valuable our dogs are for protecting the US."
according to the publication.