A woman has told of how she loves nothing more than cuddling her giant African snail on the sofa – and doesn’t mind when it covers her body in slime.
Magdalena Dusza, from Krakow, Poland, adopted slimey pal Misiek after spotting in an appalling condition in a pet shop.
Ever since she was a young girl she knew that she would rather have a pet snail over a cat or dog like most people.
And despite the large amount of space Misiek takes up in her home – he has a 130-litre tank – Magdalena says it is very easy to look after him.
“I had dreamed about owning a giant snail since I was in primary school,” she said.
“We had similar snail in our biology classroom as a school pet, and I fell in love with these amazing creatures.”
Magdalena rescued Misiek – which fittingly is Polish for ‘teddy bear’ – six years ago from the pet shop.
She 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 shell.
“At first when I saw him, I couldn’t even recognise 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.”
Misiek eats mostly vegetables and fruits.
“His favourites are sweet potatoes and bananas. He is also great fan of fish flakes food,” Magdalena added.
“Snails do not have 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.