Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Giant spider found at UK school after travelling 3,000 miles in box of bananas

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May7,2024

A giant spider species from Africa has been found at a primary school after hitching a ride to Britain aboard the kids’ bananas.

Dani Zenith, a teaching assistant at the school in Croydon, south London said staff screamed when the huntsman spider leapt out of the banana box.

She said: “We’re just a regular primary school and we get free produce sent to us from our local council for the children.

“We were unboxing the bananas to distribute to the classrooms and out jumped said spider.

“It was a huntsman and literally jumped out of the box – it probably jumped three feet.

“The office staff and the ladies in their mid-twenties were screaming, and a couple of us older staff members in our forties wondered what was going on.

“We happily caught said spider while they were screaming and freaking out. We weren’t scared – we’re kind of enthusiasts anyway.”

The creature was a Heteropoda venatoria, a member of the huntsman or Sparassidae family of spiders, which are famed for their size.

And if the box was anything to go by, it had travelled some 3,000 miles to the school from its home in the Ivory Coast.

Mrs Zenith, who uses an alias due to the nature of her work, said: “We knew straight away that it wasn’t your regular found-indoors giant house spider.

“Myself and another member of staff who is very into spiders – she has her own spider book – wanted to find out what spider it was and is it native to the UK. But every time we put it into a Google search, which I know you can’t always rely upon, it just kept coming back as being a huntsman.”

Searching for answers, Dani turned to a Natural History Museum page on Facebook. It soon transpired that Google had got it right.

Heteropoda venatoria, sometimes called the pantropical huntsman spider, can have a leg span of up to five inches when fully grown.

But this specimen was a juvenile male, estimated by Dani to be six centimetres across. And though the venomous species can deliver a painful bite, they’re not considered dangerous to humans and survive on a diet of insects.

For the schoolkids, it was a visitor unlike any other.

Dani, 45, said: “This, for me, was a positive, fascinating, educational find, and the children and myself loved finding out about this stowaway.

“In no way was it scary or negative or anything to be concerned about.”

She added: “We just opened a box of bananas and out popped this magical creature.”

The spider has now been rehomed.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Giant spider found at UK school after travelling 3,000 miles in box of bananas”
  1. As a teaching assistant myself, I can understand the initial shock of finding a huge spider in unexpected places. It’s great to see the staff handling the situation calmly and with curiosity. It’s fascinating how far this spider traveled just to end up in a school in the UK!

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