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Giant snails, wayward snake and baby gators

Miami is being invaded by snails that can grow up to 10 inches long and 4 inches wide, MiamiHerald.com reports. They eat at least 500 different types of plants, lay about 1,200 eggs a year, and can carry meningitis. They thrive in limestone, concrete and cement, and are drawn to recycling boxes, compost heaps and cat food. State and federal officials are going house by house to find them (so far, they’ve found about 1,000 within 1 square mile) and put them in freezers for a “humane death.” Authorities believe they were smuggled into the country for a traditional African religion called Ifa Orisha. (We might add that drinking the snails’ juices as part of a healing ritual is enough to keep us from converting.)

But that’s just one of the little animals causing a fuss. Police in Tequesta are searching for an 8-foot boa constrictor that escaped from a home, PalmBeachPost.com reports. The snake, which was last fed on Nov. 15, is a noted tree climber.

And in Sumter County, two men were arrested when wildlife officers found them with 260 baby gators on an airboat at Lake Apopka, Ocala.com reports. Yep, there is a black market for gator hatchlings.

by Ingvar Furkan12/10/2010

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