South East Wales

Mexican tarantula found wandering in grass in Maesteg

Dr Rhys Jones Image copyright Bridgend County Borough Council/R.JONES
Image caption The Mexican red rump tarantula is now in the care of Dr Rhys Jones at Cardiff University

A Mexican red rump tarantula has been found wandering around in grass in Maesteg.

The spider - which is not generally harmful to humans - was spotted at the Garth Park ball court and reported to Bridgend County Borough Council.

After it had been collected, the council called in wildlife expert Dr Rhys Jones, from Cardiff University, for advice.

The council is now appealing for the spider's owner to come forward.

Dr Jones - best known as the star of the BBC One Wales series Rhys Jones's Wildlife Patrol - said: "It is unlikely that the spider would have travelled from distance, given the cold spring temperatures and the proximity of local houses.

Not aggressive

"The surrounding habitat offered little interest or cover for that species of spider, given that it mainly consists of large open fields which are patrolled by many aerial predators, including gulls and crows.

"These birds would have easily spotted this tropical spider and - given half a chance - would have eaten her.

"All things considered, the spider had a very lucky escape before a bird or cat killed it."

The spider is not aggressive, and is currently being looked after by Dr Jones at Cardiff University.

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