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SYFY WIRE Battlestar Galactica

Quarantine in Effect as Giant Snails Launch Invasion of Florida Coast

They only *look* alien.

By Cassidy Ward
A hand holds up an African Giant Snail

During Battlestar Galactica’s Fall of the Twelve Colonies, the Cylons amassed an invading attack force in human colony space. In the first few minutes, the Colonial Fleet lost a quarter of its Battlestar complement. With defeat seemingly assured, President Adar offered unconditional surrender, which was met with an invading army which nearly finished the job of erasing our species from existence. Fortunately, humanity endured, as it always does.

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However, there is no rest for the weary, as the invasions never cease. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), as well as Florida’s Division of Plant Industry recently announced a quarantine in certain parts of Broward County. The threat: an invasion of giant African land snails.

Giant African Land Snails Invade Florida… Again

Detection was first confirmed in the Miramar area in early June 2023, prompting additional surveys of the area, during which the presence of giant African land snails was confirmed. It is unlawful to possess a giant African land snail without proper permits and agreements because they are one of the most dangerous invasive species on the planet, capable of chowing down on more than 500 species of plants.

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“These snails could be devastating to Florida agriculture and natural areas as they cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments. The snails also pose a serious health risk to humans by carrying parasite rat lungworm, known to cause meningitis in humans,” said the FDACS in a statement.

The quarantine area stretches from the intersection of Pembroke Road and South University Drive, proceeds south to University Drive at 215th Street, east to SW 62nd Avenue, and north back to Pembroke Road, according to a map of the quarantine and treatment area. During the quarantine period, it is unlawful to move a giant land snail to, from, or through the quarantined area. The same limitations are in effect for other regulated materials including plants, parts of plants, soil, yard waste, debris, and building materials.

This isn’t the first time giant African land snails have been detected in Florida. They’ve made an incursion and been eradicated several times before, dating back to their first appearance in 1969. Maybe they just wanted to see the Moon launch. In prior cases, the menace was eradicated through a combination of quarantine and a metaldehyde-based molluscicide (snail bait) approved for residential use. The same plan of defense is in effect for the current invasion.

If the Cylons had been that slow, we might have fared better. Catch Battlestar Galactica, streaming now on Peacock!