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Animal rescuers find reported tarantula was a plastic toy

By Ben Hooper
Animal rescuers find reported tarantula was a plastic toy
An animal rescuer responded around midnight to a report of a loose tarantula on an England road, but discovered the reported spider was actually a plastic toy. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA

April 3 (UPI) -- A British animal rescuer rushed to a residential road in the middle of the night to rescue a loose "tarantula" that turned out to be a toy replica.

The RSPCA said animal collection officer Michael Harrington responded Saturday night to Northview Drive in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, on a report of a tarantula loose in the street.

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"The call came in at 11:30 p.m. and I made it to the scene just after midnight," Harrington said. "The caller was walking home when they spotted the tarantula on the street. They said it was as big as their hand, black and hairy with thick legs and orange-colored stripes."

Harrington said he quickly learned when he got close to the spider that it was a plastic toy.

"I must admit, in the dark, it looked quite realistic. But as soon as I got nearer and picked the bowl up it was clear it was a children's toy! I think the locals were relieved!" he said.

Another RSPCA rescuer responded just days earlier to a home in Bilston, West Midlands, where a resident had reported an exotic salamander on her balcony. The amphibian turned out to be a stuffed toy.

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