MORTY the giant snail is fast becoming a bona fide Queanbeyan attraction.
The oversized mollusc lives in the grounds of the town's Sensory Gardens and received plenty of love and attention during the 175th celebrations on Saturday.
Adults wanted a selfie with the snail while children were more hands-on and climbed atop his shell.
Artist Neil Dickinson has been overwhelmed with the adoration for the garden creature and admitted Morty had been one of his favourite characters to create.
"You always hope people respond to your work well but this one has really taken off. It's quite exciting and very promising," he said.
"The response has been overwhelming. It's good, very positive."
Mr Dickinson laughed off comparisons between Morty and Canberra's Skywhale.
"It's a bit of a joke, people are calling him 'Skysnail' and he's a bit of a reflection of the town. He might be a little slower but he's down to earth and friendly not this outrageous visual thing," he said.
"Morty is a modest chap, he just needs to be loved. He's a nice fellow, quite lovely and I hope everyone embraces him and he becomes part of the landscape."
Mr Dickinson said Morty, whose name is derived from his location at Ray Morton Park, was never really supposed to be any type of animal.
"We were looking to create something that was connected to the Sensory Garden. We started off with an organic, abstract, shell-like form and it just evolved from there," he said.
Morty the Snail cost $10,000 and was commissioned by Queanbeyan City Council through a Country Arts Support Program Grant from Regional Arts NSW.
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