STILLWATER, Minn., Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The trailer of a truck inspected last month in West Lakeland Township, Minn., was found to be completely infested with zebra mussels, a report says.
As part of a required inspection at an area weigh station, a North Dakota company's vehicle was found to be carrying more than 5,000 of the marine creatures, which are known for their rapid proliferation, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said Wednesday.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Lt. John Hunt said that the mussels were found after the truck was deemed too small for the load it was carrying.
He said the Oct. 27 discovery of the animals, known to disrupt the aquatic food chain in certain areas, helped head off a potential threat to the region and even the country.
"Think of how many bridges they potentially drove across where small items can fall into the water below," Hunt told the newspaper. "The vibration from the road or bridge surface could have caused zebra mussels to fall off into who-knows-how-many bodies of water across the country."
The invasive zebra mussels are native to southeast Russia.