Wednesday morning’s “Press” carried an item about the endangered Powelliphanta Augustus snail. Solid Energy, a state-owned mining company has been given permission to move the last 500 snails from their natural habitat on the West Coast. A group lobbying on behalf of the snails is raising money for an appeal by offering sponsors snail-naming rights, an sponsorship certificate,and e-mail progress reports about their snail – all for ten dollars.
When I read this I immediately wanted to adopt a snail, but then I started to wonder. The article said 300 had already been adopted and I’m sure hundreds more potential adoptors will have been attracted by this article. Is there a chance they might sell some snails more than once? Could this lead to molluscular personality disorders among snails who’ve been given more than one name? Plus, I have been known to destroy snails in my garden. Would the Powelliphantae know that I had murdered their cousins, and if so how would they feel about my becoming their foster-mum?
Today I’ve put all my doubts aside and sent off my request to adopt. I decided mine should be called Serena Snail, even though Stephen helpfully pointed out that snails are hermaphrodites. I’m sure that some must have rudimentary sexual characteristics, and I’ve requested one with long eyelashes and a feminine air.
“Hundreds craving snail adoption
Will Serena be an option?”