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Donegal woman finds Mexican red rump tarantula in bunch of bananas

Parker will be moving to Alcorn’s Tropical World shortly to live out the rest of its days.

Image: ISPCA

A TARANTULA DISCOVERED in a bunch of bananas by a woman in Donegal has been rescued by the ISPCA. 

The animal rescue said it received “an urgent call” from a member of the public who discovered a small tarantula in some recently purchased fruit.

ISPCA care assistant Leela Voss, who is experienced in handling exotic animals, responded to the call and identified the spider as a Mexican red rump. 

Voss said the woman had purchased a bunch of wrapped bananas at her local supermarket in Donegal and made the discovery once she got home. 

It is about four months old and relatively harmless, said Voss. “Once this little guy matures to adulthood, it can be determined whether it is actually a male or female.”

Now named Parker, the spider was carefully captured and transferred in a secure box to the ISPCA Animal Rehabilitation Centre for a closer inspection.  

A veterinary examination found that Parker was very dehydrated and lethargic after his travels “but after some water and mini crickets to eat, he began to perk up very quickly”.  

ISPCA Centre Manager Denise McCausland said that now is a vulnerable time for the tarantula as his new exoskeleton has to harden in the coming days and weeks “so we are being extra careful”.  

IMG_8148 FREE REPRO PHOTO Please credit ISPCA

“Parker was placed in an appropriate humid habitat in temperature and moisture levels suitable for his species and was closely monitored over a number of weeks.  He has already grown in size and is continuously spinning elaborate webs all around his enclosure.  Parker is thriving well; his previous fuzz of hair is thickening well as he grows, also moulting in recent days.”

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McCausland said Parker will be transferred to Alcorn’s Tropical World nearby where his permanent home awaits.

The ISPCA recommends anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet consider whether they can commit to providing care throughout the animal’s entire life.

“Some can live for 30 or even 50 years for some exotic species and many other factors need to be considered such as correct lighting, heating, humidity, diet and other needs in order to keep them healthy. As with all animals, exotic pets have five basic animal welfare needs and owners have a legal duty to ensure they are a responsible pet owner.”

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Adam Daly

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