Discovery: Alert for giant African snails in Valais


DiscoveryAlert for giant African snails in Valais

Several of these giant and potentially harmful gastropods have been found in Saxon (VS). The municipal authorities are appealing to the population to stop its spread.

The African snail found in Saxon measures nearly 15 centimeters.

The African snail found in Saxon measures nearly 15 centimeters.


“Recently, giant African snails were found in the area of ​​the Finnish runway.” The municipality of Saxon (VS) has published the image of one of these specimens discovered, in a recreation area east of the village. In this sector are areas reserved for biodiversity. However, the authorities did not expect to see a species of this genus proliferate, who was talked about this summer in Florida.

“Very voracious, this exotic species feeds on all types of plants and proliferates rapidly. It potentially represents a threat to our agricultural and natural spaces”, writes the municipality, which urges its inhabitants to stop the spread of these critters as big as the hand and to report them to the municipal administration, which will take care of it: “It there is no danger, but it is recommended to wash your hands after touching the animals”.

A specimen of African snail

A specimen of African snail

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In Switzerland, some people keep African snails as pets. It is very likely that the specimens observed in Saxon come from a private breeding. In Switzerland, there are some 250 species of native snails, but not this one of course. The African gastropod reproduces very quickly and does not seem to know any natural predator in the areas where it is artificially introduced.

He dies of cold

As the situation in Florida reveals, the animal can also be the source of fatal diseases for humans, such as meningitis. But he can only transmit this disease when he was born or lived in the wild. In a recent article of “24 hours”, devoted to a breeding of these snails, it is specified that the animal is a priori not dangerous for the cultures in Switzerland, “because it is unable to survive with the negative temperatures”.

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