ATLANTA — A pair of Customs and Border Protection beagles is credited with sniffing out two invasive giant snails being carried in checked luggage through the world's busiest airport.
Candie and Chipper are members of CBP's "Beagle Brigade" which was on duty at Hartsfield Jackson on Sunday morning. That's when they sniffed out two Giant African snails in a traveler's luggage. The traveler was arriving from Nigeria and also had prohibited fruits and vegetables in the pack.
The issue with the snails, besides being invasive pests in the U.S., is that they can actually spread meningitis to humans according to the USDA. The condition causes swelling of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord - and can prove deadly if not treated.
“CBP is on the frontline 24/7, searching for anything entering our country that could potentially harm our citizens,” Atlanta CBP Acting Area Port Director Lee Deloatch said in a statement. “Our beagles sniffing out these snails highlights how valuable our canine members are to protecting the U.S.”
The traveler was warned, the snails turned over to the USDA and the food products destroyed. The CBP also warns the public to check their website, "Know Before You Go" to help them know what items are prohibited or restricted on the trip home.