Hail To The Snails

By M@ Last edited 222 months ago

Last Updated 29 November 2005

Hail To The Snails
snail trail.jpg

What’s got 227 feet but no legs and would leave a nasty stain if it fell on you from a tree? You guessed it. The escargatoire of Bermudan land snails currently wintering at London Zoo.

The poor blighters have been hunted almost to extinction on their native island. Cannibalistic snails, ants and bushtucker celebrities have (nearly) all taken their toll, reducing the population to a mere 300.

Step forward our friendly neighbourhood zoo, who took in 56 of the beleaguered shell-dwellers, presumably by snail mail, and set up a breeding program. A few months of slimy mollusc nooky later, and the population has quadrupled to 227.

Being an overseas territory, Bermuda's threatened wildlife is of direct British concern and responsibility.

Says zoo dude Paul Pearce-Kelly, whose ‘curator of small invertebrates’ is the 1 in a 1000 answer we’re all looking for when making the mandatory ‘so what do you do, then?’ smalltalk.

Indeed, it is on the overseas territories where almost all of our internationally significant British species occur - a prime example being these remarkable snails.

In a return deal, Bermuda is starting a conservation effort to safeguard the prize cabbage population of Primrose Hill Allotment, which has suffered an unexplained decline in recent months.