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Last Updated: Friday, 9 September 2005, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Giant centipede returned to owner
A giant centipede, Scolopendra gigantea
The centipede was bought from a pet shop
A giant venomous centipede which found its way into a neighbour's house has been reunited with its owner.

The nine-inch creature is now back at home in Islington, north London, with exotic pet enthusiast Gary Creasy.

Staff at the Natural History Museum had looked after the Scolopendra Gigantea since it was handed over by Aaron Balick who found it behind his TV.

Mr Creasy, 35, came forward after media reports about the find, and said he had bought it at a local pet shop.

A spokeswoman for the museum said that they handed the creature over after carrying out checks with the RSPCA and a pet shop.

Mr Balick, 32, discovered the centipede after hearing some rustling behind his television and took it to the museum the next day.

As the largest species of centipede, their sting, which is given through the front claws, can result in a blistering rash, nausea and fever.

No antidote to the venom exists, but the sting is very rarely life-threatening.

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