Tarantula found in bunch of grapes

A COUPLE get a shock when a tarantula crawls out of a bunch of grapes bought from their local supermarket.

Craig Robinson

WHEN Kevin and Nicola Hudson bought some grapes from their local supermarket they had no idea that they came with a rather hairy and unexpected eight-legged visitor.

For, lurking within the bag - purchased from Asda in Stowmarket - was a tarantula, originally identified as a Chilean Blonde.

Mr Hudson, who lives in Warren Close, Elmswell, with his wife and their three children Joshua, 14, Danny, 11, and Rhys, four, caught the beast and kept it in a plastic container until he could find out what species it was.

“It'd been in the fridge for two days so I was quite surprised it was still alive to be honest,” he said. “My little boy wanted some grapes and I was washing them for him when it crawled out.

“I was a little bit shocked but fortunately I'm not too bothered by spiders - although if it had been my wife instead of me then it would have been a different story!”

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The 40-year-old commercial director with Taylor Made Joinery tried for several days to get the creepy crawly identified - eventually taking it to his local vets.

“We had a lot of fun and games because no one was much use,” he said. “I tried phoning Environmental Health but nobody was there so I contacted Asda to see if I could find out where the grapes came from.

“They put me through to customer services and offered me compensation but I said that wasn't what I was after.

“In the end I rang Defra who told me to ring Animal Welfare, who told me to ring Natural England, who told me to ring Animal Welfare! I went round the houses a bit. I called the RSPCA and then eventually tried the vets.

“The receptionist told me to bring it in so they could have a look and to be honest if it wasn't for them I don't know what I would have done with it. They contacted Stonham Barns and that's where it's living out the rest of its life.”

The tarantula was collected by Colin White, owner of Abbey Reptiles and Abbey Aquatics which is based at Stonham.

“It's a tarantula. At first we thought it might be a Chilean Blonde but now that it is eating and has filled out a bit we're not sure because there are some markings on its back,” he said. “When we first got it was very skinny and didn't look well but now that it is eating again it is growing nicely.”

A spokeswoman for Asda said they take matters like this extremely seriously and would be investigating.

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