MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – The snails are under attack. Those giant pink snails put on display on South Beach for the international art fair, Art Basel Miami Beach, have been vandalized and police are looking for the culprits who are targeting the recycled plastic gastropods.

45 snails were put on display to make people think about the environment and fast pace of South Florida life. But several of them have vandalized with graffiti, punched and one located in Maurice Gibb Memorial Park was even thrown into Biscayne Bay.

Galleria Ca’ d’Oro and the Cracking Art Group brought the snails to Miami Beach in November and they will stay until Jan. 3. So far, eight have been vandalized.

Gallery co-owner Glorida Porcella says the snails have previously been on exhibit in Rome and Paris. She says the snails have never been vandalized or disrespected the way they have been in Miami Beach.

Miami Beach police say they have received reports about the vandalism and a detective from the department’s property crimes bureau is investigating.

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