August 17, 2007
‘Nightmare’ Tarantula Rescued in N.Y.
SMITHTOWN, N.Y. - An orange tarantula with venomous fangs was rescued Friday after its owner said he could no longer care for it.
"This is the kind of spider that nightmares are made of," said Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
He said the spider is aggressive and can jump 3 feet and bite with its large fangs. The bites are dangerous to humans.
The spider, known as an ornate golden baboon, has a fat body 5 inches long that is covered in orange hair. Male baboon spiders can have a leg span of about 8 inches, and the female is even larger.
Gross said he was glad the owner, whose name was not released, called the SPCA instead of dumping the spider.
"This spider is so aggressive, it will bite you just to bite you," he said. "It's not a pet you want to cuddle up with at night."
Baboon spiders have a life span of up to 25 years, are native to southern Africa and spend most of their time near their nests, which are usually holes in the ground.
The SPCA took the spider to a sanctuary for reptiles and other animals.