Gail Hammond was standing in her kitchen washing dishes last Thursday when she noticed something nearÂ her feet.
It looked like a scorpion, butÂ the Vancouver woman figuredÂ it was a fallen fridge magnet. After all, she’sÂ a huge fan of the GermanÂ rock bandÂ Scorpions andÂ has a variety ofÂ band memorabilia around the house.Â
Then itÂ scuttled under the fridge.
“OK,Â it’s alive,” she said to herself.Â
With her daughter’s help, she managed to move the fridge andÂ trap the scorpion under a plastic bin.Â She punched air holes in the bin and left itÂ with some water.
Unsure of how to welcome this new house guest, she began doing some research. She called an exterminator, who told her to spray it with poison or offered to dispose of it for $100.Â
Instead, she kept the scorpion in the container for a few days while she figured out what to do.Â
“They can live without food but not water. We did put a few bugs in there,” Hammond said. “We’d kind of taken a shine to him.”
TheÂ SPCAÂ suggested a veterinarian get involved. So on Monday, sheÂ drove the scorpionÂ out to a vet in Maple RidgeÂ withÂ expertise in exotic pets.
‘Hero’ for not squishing scorpion
At Dewdney Animal Hospital, Dr. Adrian WaltonÂ determined that the scorpion, which measuredÂ about five to seven centimetres long,Â was a female. It’s alsoÂ pregnantÂ â€” within three or four monthsÂ its babies should appear, looking like tiny white bugs on its back.
Walton believesÂ it’s a striped scorpion normally found in California and Arizona, but is working on figuring out exactly what species it is.Â
Hammond has no idea how the scorpion ended up in her kitchen. She bought groceries at CostcoÂ and left the bags on the floorÂ two days before the scorpion appeared. She’d also returned from aÂ trip to Cuba on April 17.
If it did come from Cuba, Hammond says that explains why she’s seen no spiders for the past few weeks.Â
Walton said theÂ arachnid couldÂ have simply hitched a ride in some produce or California-grown house plants. That’s howÂ Walton says the last few scorpions he’s heard of were discovered.
He said he’s thrilled the scorpionÂ survived both the journeyÂ and the person who found it. In most cases, if he receives a scorpion, it’s already dead.Â
“[Hammond] is actually the hero here,” he said.
“People usually squish these things and then afterwards call me up and ask, ‘What is this? Is this thingÂ dangerous?’Â Most of the time it’s like, ‘No, but thanks for killing it,'” he said.
Walton wasÂ considering keeping the scorpion. He said the clinic’s long-time mascot scorpion recently died; the arachnidsÂ can live up to 10 years.
But aÂ biologist with the Victoria Bug Zoo has identified the scorpion as one of two quite venomous species, one being a Central American bark scorpion. That means the zoo may be the scorpion’s new home, as staff there are trained to deal with venomous animals.Â
For Hammond, she’s hoping the next scorpions to arrive in Vancouver might be her beloved band.Â Â
Article source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/scorpion-vancouver-cuba-arachnid-surprise-1.5127612?cmp=rss