Isaac, Imogen and Oisin Lawlor with the exciting discovery
A family, who were out walking on the Curragh recently came across a strange find. They discovered a five and a half inch giant African snail on the grassy plains.
Dad, Odhran Lawlor said he was out walking on Saturday January 27 when one of his boys came across the unusual shell.
We referred this unique discovery to Leinster Leader wildlife columnist, Nuala Madigan from the Irish Peatland Conservation Council to find out what she made of it.
“Due to its size and colour I identified it as a Giant African Land Snail. This species of snail is native to Mozambique, Kenya, Somali and nearby islands off the African coast. However today it is found on every continent in the world (with the exception of Antarctica) due to its trade in the pet industry,” she said.
“It is a herbivore feeding on both living and dead plant material. It can grow up to 7.5 inches in size and has a conical shaped shell that can vary in colour from light brown to reddish with yellowish spirals.”
Nuala explained the snail was not alive when it was found, suggesting that temperature may have played a part in its death.
She urged people who keep such non native animals as pets, to never release any pet species into the wild and if you come across an unusual species report it to www.invasivespeciesireland.com
The five and a half inch shell