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HAMPSTEAD, NC (FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER) — Andy Wood looks at his snails and can’t help thinking they’re his own California condors or Bengal tigers.

Wood may be the only reason the magnificent ramshorn snail is not extinct.

The snail, which once called freshwater beaver ponds and millponds home, hasn’t been seen in the wild since 2005.

But here, in a Pender County pine forest, Wood has grown his colony to nearly 1,000. He checks on them twice a day and once at night, sometimes indulging them with romaine lettuce or cucumber slices.

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