I’m going to be honest with you all. I really don’t like spiders. They’re too quick; they’ve got too many legs and eyes and they like hanging out in my bedroom even after I’ve made it quite clear they’re not welcome.
However, I’ve usually been able to put my fears aside, because in the UK, we don’t have massive spiders running about the place, unlike our friends down under.
I mean, look at what they have to put up with:
Thank God, we don’t get spiders like that in the UK, eh?
Or so we’ve been able to comfort ourselves, at least – until today, when the RSPCA were called out after a man found a tarantula the size of a fucking hand in the street in Leicester.
The salmon pink Brazilian bird-eating spider – a species which can have a leg-span of 10 inches – was found abandoned in a plastic box. Aw, as much as I don’t like the creepy little fellas, that’s a horrible thing to do to one, isn’t it?
Steve Smith, an animal collection officer with the RSCPA, had the job of collecting the spider. He believes the spider may have been an unwanted pet.
He said: “We would recommend that anyone interested in keeping a tarantula as a pet thoroughly research the particular species’ needs carefully first before deciding to get one, so they know what is involved and how long it is likely to be for.”
He added the spider was ‘not aggressive at all’. I still wouldn’t fancy giving it a cuddle, though.
The salmon pink Brazilian bird-eating spider is thought to be the third largest species in the world, but despite its name, it rarely eats birds. It mainly feasts on insects and mice instead. When not in Leicester, these spiders are usually found in tropical rain forests of eastern Brazil.
In the past the RSPCA and other animal charities, have
warned about people rushing into buying exotic pets and then abandoning them
when they realise how hard they are to look after.
There’s a happy ending for our spider-friend, here, though. It’s now being looked after by a specialist keeper.