image sourceRSPCAimage captionThe snail found in Hinckley was roughly the size of a large lemon

The discovery of a giant snail in a box at a parcel office has prompted an appeal by animal welfare officers.

Surprised workers at the DPD centre in Hinckley, Leicestershire, found the creature in a container which had no delivery or sender address.

RSPCA officers identified it as a giant African land snail and, while in good health, its origins are a mystery.

Inspectors have asked anyone with information about where the snail came from to get in touch.

Giant African land snails can reach around 10in (25cm) in length and weigh up to 25oz (700g).

'Random place'

The example found in Hinckley was roughly the size of a large lemon.

The hermaphroditic creatures can also live up to 10 years, the RSPCA said.

Staff found the package among items waiting for distribution across the UK on 5 August.

RSPCA Inspector Richard Durant said: "Giant African land snails are kept as pets but we don't come across them very often so it's strange to find one in such a random place.

"We have no idea whether someone abandoned this snail, or whether they were trying to post the poor creature.

"As with all pets, it's really important that anyone thinking of taking on a giant snail is aware of what is involved in taking care of them before they bring one home."

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