St. louis zoo’s ‘snail ladies’ crucial to saving species – csmonitor. com

And the zoo – thanks in considerable part to the duo’s tireless work – can take major credit for being a main player in a program that is succeeding not only in saving that snail species, but also in returning it to its native French Polynesia.

Of the 870 Partulas put into the wild, 630 were from St. The griffith park observatory Louis – all lovingly fed, cleaned and otherwise cared for by Miller and Mills. Griffith park train steamers Last year, the first year the snails went back to the wild, the zoo contributed 140 snails.


Bob Merz, the zoo’s manager of invertebrates, said the women “may just have saved a species. Things to do near griffith park It really shows how one person, or two people, can make a difference.”

So unassuming that no one has ever bothered to give it a nickname, the Partula is about the size of a jelly bean – a drab greenish-brown, striped jelly bean.

But let’s slow down and go back to the 1980s, when a surge in escargot consumption inspired food growers to import bigger, meatier snails into French Polynesia. Christmas lights at griffith park Those imported meaty mollusks, known as rosy wolf snails, are as big as an adult human’s entire thumb.

While that may be perfect for an order of escargot, no one realized that before the rosy wolf snails ended up on the plates of gastronomes, they feasted on their new favorite food: Partula snails.

Slugging forward to the early 1990s, British conservationists showed up at the door of Ron Goellner, the zoo’s renowned keeper and conservationist who died in 2006.

They had a plan calling for several zoos in the U.S. Griffith park observatory hike and Europe, led by the London Zoo, to become caretakers for Partulas. 2658 griffith park blvd los angeles ca 90039 In time, the species could possibly be returned to its native islands.

So Miller, from south St. Griffith park horses Louis, and Mills, a Kirkwood resident, each come once a week to care for the less cuddly. Griffith observatory park They do so in a white room lit with fluorescent tubes and jammed with terrariums, cages and shelves holding plastic containers filled with Partulas.

Right now, after the shipment to Tahiti, there are about 1,000 Partulas on site. Griffith park observatory hours As many as 3,500 have been there at one time, and the women estimate they’ve cared for more than 10,000 over the years.

“I remember when this all started, back in 1993,” Miller said. Griffith park picnic area “We didn’t have this (insectarium, built in 2000), so we sat at desks in Ron’s office and took care of the snails.”

“If it smells like ammonia, you know you have a problem,” said Mills, who said small bugs and bacteria can find their way into the containers.

Then the women mix up snail food – a not-altogether-malodorous green paste made of instant oats, chalk, nettles, vitamins and trout food. Travel town griffith park They smear some paste on the sides of the container and put the snails back at the bottom. Zoo griffith park Hungry ones find their way up the sides.

When it comes time to ship out snails that have been selected for placement in the wild, the women pack them to be shipped to other zoos for independent evaluation.

“We wrap them in a tissue, insert them into something like a cardboard toilet paper roll, pack the ends with tissues and then stack them in a shipping box,” Miller said.

“You know, kids don’t look at animals like snails or snakes and think they’re gross. Griffith park chicago They think they’re cool,” said Mills, a former high school teacher who grew up in Southern California.

“I was a horse girl when I was young. Griffith park hiking map I used to volunteer to work at the stables they kept in Griffith Park in Los Angeles,” she said. Griffith park hike “The big perk of the job was that I got to ride a mule.”

Miller is a St. Map griffith park Louis native who majored in biology at Fontbonne University and worked for years in a pharmaceutical laboratory. Griffith park hollywood She currently has a toy poodle as a pet, and has lived with cats and dogs her whole life.

“Had a rabbit when I was a kid, one my sister saved from the lab at Maryville College when she found out they were going to sacrifice them after testing,” Miller said.

Both women said they have no plans to drop out of the program. Abandoned zoo griffith park In fact, the only thing they are tired of are futile attempts to make them tell snail jokes.

And the zoo – thanks in considerable part to the duo’s tireless work – can take major credit for being a main player in a program that is succeeding not only in saving that snail species, but also in returning it to its native French Polynesia.

Of the 870 Partulas put into the wild, 630 were from St. Food near griffith park Louis – all lovingly fed, cleaned and otherwise cared for by Miller and Mills. Griffith park things to do Last year, the first year the snails went back to the wild, the zoo contributed 140 snails.

Bob Merz, the zoo’s manager of invertebrates, said the women “may just have saved a species. How big is griffith park It really shows how one person, or two people, can make a difference.”

So unassuming that no one has ever bothered to give it a nickname, the Partula is about the size of a jelly bean – a drab greenish-brown, striped jelly bean.

But let’s slow down and go back to the 1980s, when a surge in escargot consumption inspired food growers to import bigger, meatier snails into French Polynesia. Griffith park deaths Those imported meaty mollusks, known as rosy wolf snails, are as big as an adult human’s entire thumb.

While that may be perfect for an order of escargot, no one realized that before the rosy wolf snails ended up on the plates of gastronomes, they feasted on their new favorite food: Partula snails.

Slugging forward to the early 1990s, British conservationists showed up at the door of Ron Goellner, the zoo’s renowned keeper and conservationist who died in 2006.

They had a plan calling for several zoos in the U.S. Griffith park observatory laser show and Europe, led by the London Zoo, to become caretakers for Partulas. Griffith park run In time, the species could possibly be returned to its native islands.

So Miller, from south St. Griffith park parking Louis, and Mills, a Kirkwood resident, each come once a week to care for the less cuddly. Laserium griffith park They do so in a white room lit with fluorescent tubes and jammed with terrariums, cages and shelves holding plastic containers filled with Partulas.

Right now, after the shipment to Tahiti, there are about 1,000 Partulas on site. Train in griffith park As many as 3,500 have been there at one time, and the women estimate they’ve cared for more than 10,000 over the years.

“I remember when this all started, back in 1993,” Miller said. Griffith park visitor’s center auditorium “We didn’t have this (insectarium, built in 2000), so we sat at desks in Ron’s office and took care of the snails.”

“If it smells like ammonia, you know you have a problem,” said Mills, who said small bugs and bacteria can find their way into the containers.

Then the women mix up snail food – a not-altogether-malodorous green paste made of instant oats, chalk, nettles, vitamins and trout food. Train museum griffith park They smear some paste on the sides of the container and put the snails back at the bottom. Autry griffith park Hungry ones find their way up the sides.

When it comes time to ship out snails that have been selected for placement in the wild, the women pack them to be shipped to other zoos for independent evaluation.

“We wrap them in a tissue, insert them into something like a cardboard toilet paper roll, pack the ends with tissues and then stack them in a shipping box,” Miller said.

“You know, kids don’t look at animals like snails or snakes and think they’re gross. Things to do in griffith park They think they’re cool,” said Mills, a former high school teacher who grew up in Southern California.

“I was a horse girl when I was young. Griffith park pony rides and trains I used to volunteer to work at the stables they kept in Griffith Park in Los Angeles,” she said. Griffith park trail run “The big perk of the job was that I got to ride a mule.”

Miller is a St. Griffith park horseback riding prices Louis native who majored in biology at Fontbonne University and worked for years in a pharmaceutical laboratory. Griffith park los angeles ca She currently has a toy poodle as a pet, and has lived with cats and dogs her whole life.

“Had a rabbit when I was a kid, one my sister saved from the lab at Maryville College when she found out they were going to sacrifice them after testing,” Miller said.

Both women said they have no plans to drop out of the program. Horseback riding griffith park In fact, the only thing they are tired of are futile attempts to make them tell snail jokes.