By Sophie Norris
This snail could be a contender for the UK’s most pampered pet as he enjoys daily baths and full body massages – and hilarious footage shows just how much he enjoys it.
Amanda Young, 44, claims Speedy enjoys baths three times a week and dedicates hours to massaging the Giant African Land Snail.
Hilarious footage shows the slimy creature waiting patiently on the edge of a water bowl with his head raised and then arc his head back in obvious pleasure as Amanda gets to work massaging him with a cotton bud.
The 15cm even enjoys sitting on a wooden perch to watch the world go by and has his own house in the family’s garden.
Amanda, from Fife, Scotland, said “I like to give him a bath twice or three times a week. Usually we concentrate more on his shell because he might get dirt stuck on it from his enclosure.
“He properly leans into cotton bud when I give him a massage – he loves it.
“Sometimes I even get a bit of coconut oil and rub it on his shell just to make it nice and healthy. It smells nice too.
“I’ll put a little bit on a baby toothbrush and rub it in.
“The other snails do enjoy being bathed but not to the extent Speedy does.
“They just don’t show how much they enjoy it like he does. You can see it in the face too.
“Speedy is such a chilled-out snail – he really takes it to the next level.
“Snails do generally like having baths, and over time they get used to them and started coming out of their shells more often.
“If a snail is unhappy and it’s too cold or dry, they can actually seal up their shells for protection, so if you bathe them they come out really easily.
“He loves having baths all the time and I use the cotton buds to give him a little massage.
“He’ll just sit there and slides out of his shell – he’s clearly enjoying it.
“He’s quite a chilled-out snail really. He’ll just sit there for ages and happily watch the world go by.”
Speedy and his other snail friends – Jimbob, Ryan and Dave – recently welcomed a whopping 300 baby snails into their home, meaning Amanda really has her work cut out.
As co-owner of Bonnie Beasties reptile charity, Amanda currently houses over 50 animals in her reptile house, including spiders, snakes and tortoises.
However only Speedy demands the special massages from the doting keeper.
Amanda said: “Of all the reptiles, I’d say Speedy has the biggest personality.
“When we take them to displays, he seems to be the one who’s always out of his shell, whereas the others might hide away a bit more.
“I try not to have favourites but he’s got this cute little face. It looks a little like a rabbit with his antennae. You can tell he enjoys being around people.
“Speedy is one of quite a few pet snails that I have at home. They live in my back garden in a reptile house.
“The house we have in our back garden is about 20ft by 12ft and houses 40 different species of reptiles.
“Speedy’s very laid-back and when we let the children hold him at events, he’ll happily just slide up and down their arms.
“[Giant snails] really do make great pets because they’ll happily feed from your hand and they make little crunching noises when they’re eating cucumber.
“Now he and his other friends have been laying eggs, we have 300 babies and unlike him, they are albino and have spots and white shells.
“Snails are actually hermaphrodites, but we call him ‘he’ because my nephew Logan named him.
“They’ll be going to the local pet shop though – we can’t keep that many.
“He has a really big appetite. If I leave him and the other two with a bag of salad leaves overnight, they’ll have all gone by morning.
“The snails also love cucumbers and could easily get through a couple of those in a night too.”
While Speedy, named by Amanda’s six-year-old nephew Logan, might be clean as a whistle after his pampering sessions, snails are often perceived as slimy and disgusting, which Amanda is keen to counter.
Amanda said: “Snails aren’t actually as slimy as you might think.
“They do obviously bury into soil and poo, so that’s why we give them baths, but they’re not actually that bad.
“And now, we’re seeing women paying upwards of £200 for snail slime facials in beauty salons all over the world – it’s good for your skin.
“Snail’s use the slime to regenerate their own shells and now beauticians are using the snail poo to put on their client’s faces.
“If you go into health shops, they sell other snail products too.”