Three giant African land snails were dumped “like rubbish” in woodland and one of them died, animal welfare officers have said.
The Scottish SPCA is investigating after a member of the public discovered the snails in a broken tank behind Hill View in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on July 5.
One of the snails was dead and the other two were “alive but barely” and are now being cared for by the charity.
Scottish SPCA inspector Dawn Robertson said: “Invertebrates are not protected by legislation but owners have a responsibility to provide any animal in their care with the proper, specialist attention they need.
“The team at our Lanarkshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre have been working hard to provide them with the care they need and to bring them out of their shell, so to speak.
“They tried to go in to hibernation to protect themselves but the team managed to get them out of it by changing their humidity and living environment.
“They are now doing really well and will be ready for rehoming soon.
“We’re pleased at how well the snails are doing but it doesn’t change the fact that someone discarded these animals like rubbish, causing one of them to die.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Scottish SPCA’s confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
Giant African land snails are native to East Africa but are considered one of the world’s top 100 invasive species, according to the Global Invasive Species Database, and can be found in other places with tropical and subtropical climates.
Their shells can grow up to 20cm in length.
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