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Friday 19 September 2014

New home found for stowaway spider

Published 02/08/2014 | 10:09

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A South American tarantula discovered in a shipment of bananas

A stowaway spider discovered in a shipment of bananas is the second exotic arachnid to be rehomed at a zoo in past 12 months.

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The South American tarantula was discovered in a food store delivery in West Sussex and was handed into a veterinary surgery before being taken away by the RSPCA.

Inspector Tony Woodley collected the three-inch spider on Thursday and took it to Drusillas Park in Alfriston, East Sussex, after they agreed to give it a new home.

Angela Hale, the zoo's spider expert, said: "It is always very exciting to have a tarantula brought in by the RSPCA.

"We had the arachnid identified by Dr Stuart Longhorn of the British Tarantula Society, one of the world's leading taxonomists and experts on South American tarantulas.

"He confirmed the tarantula was a fully grown dwarf species known as Peruvian green velvet.

"It lives in scrubland and is extremely docile."

It is the second time in less than a year that an exotic spider has been taken to Drusillas following an RSPCA rescue.

In November, a giant huntsman was rehomed at the zoo after travelling from Taiwan to St Leonards on Sea in a shipping container of BMX parts.

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