If you haven't been to Barbados in the Caribbean, delay no longer. Giant snails are ravenously devouring the paradisaical island in the stream. Hundreds of thousands, if not billions and billions, of giant African Land Snails (Achatina fulica) emerge from their sub-terrainian lairs to attack the central parish of St. George.
Although stampedes are rare, farmers have seen the snails swarming over the agricultural heartland consuming sugercane, banana, and papaya crops. The African snails grow to gargantuan proportions. Many snails 4 inches by 10 inches have been found.
David Walrond, emergency response office chairman said,
We saw snails riding on each other's backs and moving in clusters...You're just crunching the shells as you're walking through...It's not difficult to kill them......presumably because the snails are not extremely fast nor light on their foots. Walrond's Anti-Snail Brigade venture out on nightly assaults spraying pesticides in gullies and other cool, low areas where the snails are believed to engage in diurnal bacchanalian revelries. Giant African Snail intel is apparently difficult to obtain as human infiltration into the snail cells is impossible and snails are notoriously (and honoably) loyal to their comrades negating any hopes of developing a turncoat.
Vigilantes have also been countering the snail onslaught in a desperate attempt to reclaim their land. Allaby Small, a 66 year old farmer, has taken to igniting bonfires at night to kill the snails and stop the zombie-like encroachment upon his house. Small frets the sanils will find a way under the roof of his home.
Liberal groups advocate tolerance and inclusivness of the African Snails into the dominant human culture. Indoctrinational seminars are being held in the public elementary schools to demonstrate the peaceful nature of the beautiful mollusk interlopers. Organizers recognize their efforts do not with approval from most islanders and limit the assemblies to easily influenced school children. They also confiscate all salt, butter, and garlic that may be brought in by intolerant specieists.
The slimy turban-shaped beasties also carry diseases like meningitis and other horrible maladies. Government entomologist, Ian Gibbs warns,
At present the snail is regarded as an agricultural pest, but in other parts of the world it is also a very important public health pest.Barbados is trying to prevent an ecological disaster. The African Snails threaten the food and water supply, and can lead to a rat population explosion. Rats prey on the fast breeding snails, the only thing they do fast. Unfortunately, the rats bring their own deadly diseases. When the snails are sanctioned with extreme prejudice, they leave their huge shells behind which fill with water providing breeding ponds for mosquitoes.
The Giant African Snail invasion is not just a Barbadan problem. The snails are known to have emmigrated to St, Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and other Caribbean islands. If the Caribbean islands do not receive the aid of the international community, and fail to check the Gastropodinal illegal alien intrusion, the island gems of the Carribean Sea face an apocolypse of "Gibsonian" proportions.
Barbados Ministry of Agriculture
The Osama bin Laden Banana Boat Song
(actually, the last one is off topic, but I thought it funny.)
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.