I have an important postal question, and after receiving conflicting information from various devisions of the post office, I decided I would ask the one person who is sure to know, and will also care. Let me give you a brief history of my situation:
During filming of UA Films' recent feature, Ray Bradbury’s Chrysalis, in the El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico, three *huge* snails climbed into the Panasonic camera bag and managed to live for TWO weeks in our edit bay until we discovered them. We nursed them back to health with lettuce, mushrooms, and bottled water, and now they are living in a miserable plastic storage container. I feel bad for these little guys and I desperately want to send them home. However, I do not feel comfortable smuggling them back and do not have the resources to send them via a private flight. I would like to get them back to the El Yunque rainforest before they become too dependent on me and forget how to forage and ooze on their own. I do not know if it is a relief, in their estimation, to have the safety and convenience of the entrapment with an endless supply of food, but I can only imagine the beautiful and refreshing rainforest is a preference for any creature, which is why we are desperately trying to avoid a sanctuary.
Over the past week, I've managed to pull together a campaign to get them back to Puerto Rican rainforest safely, and enlisted the help of PETA activists, The US Department of Forestry and Fish and Wildlife, El Yunque Biologists and Puerto Rican local government involvement. I am told it is imperative that the snails are returned the general location they originated from, and we definitely have the connections on the receiving end to ensure they are placed properly. Everyone has been extremely helpful and willing to assist in every way, but no party has the ability to ensure a safe arrival of the snails to Puerto Rico. The main concern we face now is that simply mailing the snails via USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex would subject them to the transportation process (which can be freezing temperatures in the airmail cargo) and the same Customs regulations as any other mail item.
Bean, you are the only existing expert on animals, the US Post Office, *and* National Parks and Forests. I am sure if there is a resolution to be found, you can help us discover it. We welcome any suggestions or information regarding animal shipment and transportation that could be a feasible solution to this problem.
Also, since the story has become somewhat of an interest in local and national press, we will be posting updates in the Discussion forum of the new website for Ray Bradbury's Chrysalis, starting with this one. Please refer your readers to www.chrysalismovie.net to see updates on the gastropods as the process unfolds. I would love to be able to write how Bean's Blog was the turning point for the plight of the snails, and will include a link to your blog as well. Thank you again, Bean, for your compassion and assistance.
(end of letter, edited for length)
Okay, team, what advice to you have for Cana? How can she get these snails home? Please discuss.