CITIZEN REPORT PRESENCE OF GIANT AFRICAN CARACOL IN HAVANA PARKS

Cuban scientist affirms African snail can be eaten

HAVANA, July 23 Citizens have denounced the presence of giant African snails in the Cerro Municipality …

on public roads and parks where children play, which represents a considerable health risk because these mollusks can harbor parasites in fibromuscular tissues and in their drool.

Because of this, they can cause diseases in humans such as eosinophilic meningoencephalitis and abdominal angiostrongialitis, which in children can cause serious consequences, such as psychomotor disorders and even death.

In other regions of Cuba, the death of dogs has already been demonstrated by the consumption of this snail, so they are also harmful to domestic animals. The animal is on the list of the 100 most harmful invasive alien species in the world.

Last June, the Cuban authorities alerted the population of the existence of this plague and the health damage it can cause, so they recommended never touching them with bare hands, washing all objects that could have been in contact with the animals and never consume them as food.

Although a round table was held last month on the subject, where some administrative measures were mentioned, the population is very limited in resources to combat the plague.

Not only should they be crushed, but they should be picked up with gloves, but Cuba is not there, so people use plastic bags to protect their hands. To eliminate them, it would be best to put them in a solution of salt or lime, but these products are not distributed among the population.

The giant African snail belongs to the Achatinidae family, of land snails. They are an invasive species that is believed to have been introduced to the Island for use in Afro-Cuban rites and although there is no way to demonstrate when or how it happened, it is certain that they were introduced by human action.

They are native to tropical Africa and were detected in Cuba for the first time in 2014. To date, their presence has already been denounced throughout the country.

Only the animal’s shell can measure up to 20 centimeters, they are hermaphroditic and reproduce rapidly; With approximately 1,800 eggs per year, they significantly affect any ecosystem.

Citizens are recommended to ensure that it is a snail of this species so as not to affect Cuban snails; destroy its shell and set it on fire, as well as educate children so that they never touch them.