Leicester

Horrified man finds 'massive' tarantula dumped near home

Abandoned tarantula Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The abandoned tarantula has since been found a new home

A man said he froze in fear when he found one of the world's largest tarantulas dumped near his house.

The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eater was left in a plastic box at the junction of Narborough Road and Ivy Road in Leicester on Friday.

It was found by Michael Fields as he left his home.

Mr Fields called the RSPCA and the spider - the third largest breed of tarantula in the world - has been found a new owner.

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Image caption Michael Fields said he was "nearly in tears"

Mr Fields estimated the spider measured about eight inches (20cm) long.

He said: "I absolutely froze on the spot. It's my worst nightmare - I hate spiders.

"Even as a grown man I was nearly in tears - this thing was massive. I then had to stay with it until the RSPCA came."

Brazilian salmon pink bird-eaters can grow to have a leg span of 10 inches (25cm) but are relatively harmless to humans.

'Understandably shaken'

The RSPCA said the tarantula had been re-homed with a specialist exotic animal keeper.

Animal collection officer Steve Smith said: "We are concerned that someone abandoned a spider in the street like this.

"These tarantulas live in a warm and humid environment in the wild and need the same provided in captivity.

"It is likely that the spider was an unwanted pet which someone decided to dispose of for whatever reason.

"We would recommend that anyone interested in keeping a tarantula as a pet thoroughly research the particular species' needs carefully first before deciding to get one."

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