Wholesome Alert! Ranger Stacey Gets Surprised With Namesake Snail

Chatting to 10 Daily over the phone, Stacey Thomson -- aka 'Totally Wild' host Ranger Stacey, queen of our childhoods -- still sounded excited.

Having just been surprised with the news that a recently discovered species of snail has been named in her honour -- Burwellia staceythomsonae, or 'Ranger Stacey's Pinwheel Snail' -- Stacey laughed as she recalled the big reveal.

"It’s just, I was in total and utter surprise! I just thought I was doing a regular 'Totally Wild' story, obviously on snails. And then we got talking about discovering new species. Next minute, a news journalist and cameraman walked in, and I thought ‘okay, what’s going on here?’" she said, laughing, "I was maybe a little bit slow to pick up on it -- maybe it’s good that a snail is named after me, they’re renowned to be slow, as well! But I didn’t click that anything was happening!"

After being presented with the certificate of authenticity, Stacey said that she was "truly honoured".

"I never thought I’d have such a reaction to such a little, tiny, minute snail, but I’m in love! It’s amazing," she gushed.

Photo: Supplied.

The snail itself is teensy tiny -- about .25 of a millimetre, she told us -- but "really intricate" and "very, very old" -- a "true survivor", Stacey exclaimed.

Discovered by Queensland Museum’s Dr Chris Burwell and Honorary Research Fellow Dr John Stanisic, Stacey's snail will also be part of the Queensland Museum Collection.

"It looks like a little tiny speck of something, but then when you see it under the microscope, you see it magnified, it really is quite beautiful," she said. "Snails, you know, they don’t have a great public profile. But when you do really learn about something, and it’s something you can really take a close look at, they’re beautiful looking creatures!"

Having been on 'Totally Wild' since 1992, you might think that Stacey would have seen and done it all by now, but with new species being discovered all the time, Stacey told us that she never bores of it.

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"You’d think that we’d have discovered it all, but certainly not!" she exclaimed. "There are still new species -- especially of things like insects and snails, small, not insignificant, but small creatures where you know, there’s hundreds or thousands of different species, so they’re discovering things all the time. I guess the harder you look, the more you find!"

She continued: "Every day is different and exciting. It’s just my passion -- even though there are scary things and bad things happening in the world, there’s always hope and always people who are doing great things, you know. People who have a passion for helping the environment. So it’s just a good thing to be a part of, it’s just such fun."

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Asked about her legacy as one of Australia's most beloved presenters, Stacey said that she thought was "nice to have a positive impact on people".

"That’s the thing, I get that sort of feedback constantly!" she said. "And it’s really nice that people do have good memories of coming home after school and watching ‘Totally Wild’, and it’s probably moreso the adults who have those memories, people in their 30s, 40s, who just remember, ‘oh, that was a good part of my childhood, coming home, and I really wanted to be you when I was growing up!’"

And while there can only be one Ranger Stacey -- and one Ranger Stacey Pinwheel Snail -- she said that she's seen "people go on to do amazing things, working with animals, as vets or as researchers or zookeepers" as a result of watching the show.

"It’s nice to see that it’s come full circle!" she said.

Feeling nostalgic? Check out some of our favourite Ranger Stacey highlights in the video below, and watch her get surprised with her snail in the video above.

Wild Moments With Ranger Stacey

Feature image: 10