Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 20:21 UK

Tarantula found in store grapes

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Shopper Nicola Hudson said the baby tarantula was docile after two days in her fridge

A tarantula was spotted lurking in a bunch of grapes - as a father prepared to give them to his four-year-old boy.

Kevin Hudson, 40, of Elmswell, Suffolk, found the spider in the grapes he had bought at Asda, in nearby Stowmarket, as he washed them for son Rhys.

He caught the 2.5in (5cm) creature and took it to his local vet and it is now being housed at a local reptile centre.

"Naturally if this has caused the customer any distress we are of course very sorry," said an Asda spokeswoman.

Spiders don't bother me too much, although it would have been a different story if my wife had been washing them
Kevin Hudson

Mr Hudson said he was washing the grapes when the spider crawled out.

"I was a little bit shocked," he said.

"Spiders don't bother me too much, although it would have been a different story if my wife had been washing them."

The spider, docile after two days in the fridge, was caught in a plastic box and taken to a local vet, and is now housed at Abbey Aquatics and Reptiles.

"It's just a small Chilean Tarantula with a lovely black abdomen and pink zebra markings on the back," Colin White, of Abbey Aquatics and Reptiles, said.

"We get about half a dozen calls a year from various supermarkets and grocers about the area to come and pick them (creatures) up.

"More often than not they are just frogs that have come in on bananas but we do get a few tarantulas - we have even had a couple of snakes over the years."

An Asda spokeswoman said the firm sold more 30 million bags of grapes a year and had never had a report of a tarantula on a bunch.

"It's highly unlikely that a spider of this size could have hitched a ride as we have strict procedures in place to stop this sort of thing from happening," the spokeswoman said.

"It is for this reason why we need to get the spider back to accurately identify what variety it is, its country of origin and how it got into the grapes."


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