Meet Wellington's new tarantulas
Fri, 22 Jun 2012 6:23p.m.
By Jerram Watts
It's a delivery few Kiwis would be willing to sign for - a box of 106 tarantulas has arrived at Wellington Zoo.
It cost $15,000 to bring the spiders here from the UK, and they're here for one reason: to breed.
“They’re amazing animals, they are such cool creatures, you can see things on them that you can’t see on little house spiders at home,” says Wellington Zoo collection development manager Simon Eyre.
“You can see the webs on them as they spin them, you can see their fangs and you can see them feed.”
The spiders are mostly juveniles, so it will be a few years before they are ready to mate. But once they do, Mr Eyre says they are quite prolific.
“They could pump out hundreds quite easily, but tarantula babies don’t tend to all survive.”
While the new tarantulas are venomous, they’re not dangerous to humans. In the unlikely event that someone is bitten, the pain would be similar to that of a bee sting.
Forty-four of the spiders will stay at Wellington Zoo - the rest will be shared amongst zoos and museums around the country.
“We intend here in the future to bring them up close to our visitors without having glass in the way so they can get up close and make an attachment and understand more about invertebrates and what they do,” says Mr Eyre.
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