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Bird-eating tarantulas possibly on the loose in Britain

By Ben Hooper
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Bird-eating tarantulas possibly on the loose in Britain
The RSPCA said Brazilian tarantulas might be loose in England after three baby spiders were found abandoned in a parking lot. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA

July 16 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers are warning of possible bird-eating tarantulas on the loose in Britain after three baby spiders were found in a parking lot.

The RSPCA said 10 pots were found at the side of a parking lot at Bateman's Yard Stable in Somercotes, Derbyshire, England, and rescuers discovered three baby Brazilian tarantulas in the pots.

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Two of the pots were broken after apparently being struck by cars, leading the animal rescue group to suspect the baby tarantulas' parents might be on the loose.

The pots bore labels including one saying, "Brazilian pink bird-eating spiders," the RSPCA said.

"The women caller who contacted us was understandably shaken when she realized the pots contained spiders as she is terrified of them," RSPCA Inspector Kristy Ludlam said. "It appears someone ran over two of the pots and the driver told the woman who called us he thought he saw two larger spiders. No bodies were found so it is assumed they may have escaped."

Ludlam said the RSPCA is keeping the empty pots warm in case the tarantula eggs inside them hatch.

The RSPCA said the tarantulas, which can grow to a leg span of up to 10 inches, would be unlikely to survive for very long in the wild, due to their preference for hot and humid climates.

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"It is likely that the spiders were unwanted pets which they may have been breeding and then decided to dispose of for whatever reason," Ludlam said.

The baby tarantulas are being cared for at Arnold and Carlton Veterinary Center in Nottingham until a permanent home can be found, the RSPCA said.

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