GIANT SNAILS BELIEVED TO BE FROM AMERICAN SAMOA FOUND AT A LAUTOKA, FIJI WHARF

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (May 14, 1999 – Fiji Times/PACNEWS)---Eight giant African snails have been discovered in empty containers offloaded by quarantine officials at the Lautoka wharf, in the western part of the Fiji Islands.

The snails are believed to have come from Pago Pago, American Samoa on board the vessel Fua Kavenga last Tuesday.

A quarantine official said the discovery of the snails forced the department to enforce precautionary measures to stop the snails from leaving the wharf.

Officials from Suva, Nadi and Lautoka are going through containers at the wharf to search for the creatures.

"We always keep a vigilant eye out for the containers that arrive from island countries that are known to be infested with these pests," the quarantine official said.

The snails are up to 15 centimeters (six inches) in length and feed on vegetables.

Pacific Island countries infected by African snails include Papua New Guinea, Palau, the Samoas, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

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