A giant venomous centipede has made a round the world trip from Antigua to Bristol in some dirty washing.
Believed to be a Peruvian giant centipede, a species which is toxic to humans, it is now residing at Bristol Zoo and has been named Curtley.
Bristol Zoo’s, assistant curator of invertebrates, Mark Bushell said, “Curtley has settled in well. It is hard to tell whether Curtley is male or female but we do know that he/she likes digging tunnels and particularly likes eating crickets.”
Bristol resident, Jennie Esler was staying in the Antiguan town of English Harbour when Curtley decided to take up residence in her luggage. It was not until 48 hours later when she returned to the United Kingdom that the stowaway was discovered.
Jennie said, “I have no idea when he actually got in there, but I packed it up to leave on the Saturday morning, popped to the beach for a bit and then made our way up to the airport. We arrived home after an 8 hour flight at 9am on Sunday morning and went straight to sleep. By this point Curtley must’ve been in the bag for at least 20 hours but I didn’t unpack that bag for another 24 hours.”
While unpacking her bag she discovered Curtley, “At first I thought I was seeing things and then I peered inside and saw nothing but legs against the black fabric of the bag. He didn’t actually run out, he was quite shy. I had to tip him out of the bag into the bathroom sink, as I didn’t really know what he was at this point. I couldn’t believe it when I saw him. How did he get there? I didn’t know what to do so I called the RSPCA who advised me to ring the Zoo and the rest is history,” added Jennie.
Luckily the centipede was found before it could bite Jennie. While not fatal a bite from this species causes severe pain, chills, swelling, fever and weakness.
Photo Credit: Bristol Zoo