Days after a $5 bounty was announced for the Giant African Snail, a woman is warning people to be careful after her husband had to undergo surgery to save his hand after coming into contact with a snail while cleaning the yard at his home late last year.
Guardian Media was told that on December 29, Youksee was cleaning his yard at Achong Trace, Tunapuna, when his hand accidentally touched one of the snails.
His wife, Gwendy, said his hand began itching shortly after and then swelling.
“It start to swell, it lancing him. I put it in warm salt water and let him dip it. I squeezing up his hand and then after that, the thing just start to keep swelling. He couldn’t move his fingers, it just keep swelling and swelling.”
Gwendy said her husband went through a lot of pain over the past few days and was glad to have him back home with their children and their grandchildren yesterday. “The doctors had to gash it so that it wouldn’t reach his tissues to cause more damage. He is home now but we got a paper to take him to the health centre for dressing every day and we are very concerned and want the doctors to keep him in close check because we don’t want him to contract meningitis.”
Gwendy also had a stern warning for members of the public who saw her husband’s story on a social media thread, saying he did not want the five dollars.
“This happened way before the bounty was announced and people should stop joking on people’s lives. This is no joke. This is serious thing. My husband could have lost his hand,” she said.
“My husband knew how to pick up the snails because he did it many times before. Our area is festered and it is just my husband accidentally touched the snail and its slime caused the infection,” she added.
Gwendy warned the public not to interfere with the snails.
“I feel they should have their county workers with their gloves and their boots and thing to pick it up. People have to be careful because look at what happened to my husband. This is serious business because all you seeing is catch it for five dollars and making people look like sprangers for five dollars. My husband don’t want no five dollars.”
Minutes after returning home yesterday, Youksee said he was feeling “good.”
“I was weeding the yard and just so I see my hand start swelling. I touch a snail,” he recalled.
The Ministry of Agriculture recently announced a bounty system for the capture and submission of the snails. The three-week pilot project started on Monday, with a reward of $5 per kilogramme of snails.
As part of the project, a task force was re-established for the monitoring and surveillance of pernicious pests and diseases, inclusive of bat control and snails.