A woman who dreamed about owning a giant snail since she was a schoolgirl has revealed how she rescued one from a pet shop after seeing the condition it was kept in.
Magdalena Dusza and her slimy pet Misiek live in Krakow, Poland after she rescued the African snail six years ago.
Misiek – which fittingly is Polish for ‘teddy bear’ – is now kept in Magdalena’s home in a 130-liter tank and they enjoy cuddling together on the sofa.
When she found him, he was kept in such a bad condition that Magdalena couldn’t recognize the species.
Giant African snails can grow to almost a foot long and weigh more than a pound.
Magdalena said: ‘They kept him in a very small box, with low humidity, which is deadly for snails, and he had an invasion of parasites and damaged the shell.
‘At first, when I saw him, I couldn’t even recognize the species.
‘I didn’t believe he would survive the night and didn’t want to pay for an almost dead animal.
‘After a sleepless night, I decided that I have to give him a chance and rescue him.
‘That day, I went back and bought him.’
Speaking about her love of the species, she said: ‘I had dreamed about owning a giant snail since I was in primary school.
‘We had a similar snail in our biology classroom as a school pet, and I fell in love with these amazing creatures.’
Despite a large amount of space, Misiek takes up in her home, Magdalena says it is very easy to look after him.
She said: ‘He eats mostly vegetables and fruits.
‘His favorites are sweet potatoes and bananas. He is also a great fan of fish flakes food.
‘Snails do not have a very complex nervous system, so we don’t interact in the traditional sense like a cat or a dog.
‘However, this really doesn’t stop me from talking to Misiek every day.’
Unfortunately, while most people are amazed by Magdalena having a pet giant African snail, some can be cruel with their comments towards Misiek.
Magdalena said: ‘There are also sometimes negative reactions, like people being disgusted.
‘Sometimes they try to joke and ask me if I am going to cook and eat my snails, but to be honest, it is not really funny at all.
‘Despite these comments, owning Misiek is a very unusual but rewarding passion, especially when you can observe your snails growing big and healthy.
‘Because they are so slow and majestic, observing them is good for nerves, it makes you calm and relaxed.
‘I would advise everyone to go and get giant snail for their own.’
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