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Colin, the Waste King snail, goes on tour

Having read – in a local newspaper – about Waste King, the specialist collections, clearance and recycling company, had saving a Giant African Land Snail from being consigned to the ‘great green bin in the sky’ by one of the company’s customers, Sophie Dowling asked Waste King if her school could ‘borrow’ the snail and Waste King has agreed.

ColinSophie teaches a Year 3 class at St Cuthbert Mayne School, in Hemel Hempstead. When she read the story about snail’s rescue she got in touch with Waste King’s managing director, Glenn Currie.

Now named ‘Colin’, by the Waste King operatives who brought the giant mollusc back to Waste King’s Hemel Hempstead headquarters, the snail was living in a large glass tank and thriving on a diet of apples, bananas, lettuce and cucumber – with some added cuttlefish to provide it with much needed calcium. A native of Kenya in East Africa, a Giant African Land Snail can grow to some 25 centimetres in length.

Sophie wrote: ‘I teach a year 3 class at St Cuthbert Mayne School in Hemel Hempstead. For one of our science topics this year we’ll be studying habitats and I think an African land snail would demonstrate habitats perfectly.

‘I did read that you were all rather fond of Colin but, if you would ever like to loan him out, I know 30 seven year olds that would love to look after him.”

‘We’d like to study the snail’s habitat,’ she added. ‘For example, we’ll look at the snail’s need for damp soil - and a dark place for sleeping.

‘We’ll also be noticing that the snail is nocturnal - and I’ll be teaching the children how to look after a creature, demonstrating basic care such as feeding, watering, cleaning out and so on.’

Currie commented: “Although all of us at Waste King have grown extremely fond of Colin, we feel that we can’t deny him the chance to make some new friends – and to see a bit more of the world. Besides, it’s not as if he’s going a long way away – and it’s not for ever.

“And it’s great that Colin will be able to help the children at St Cuthbert Mayne School develop their understanding of another aspect of looking after this planet: protecting the environment and the creatures that are so valuable in keeping it ‘healthy’.”

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