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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 17:08 GMT
Tarantula in OAP home 'for weeks'
Tarantula (generic)
The man saw the tarantula-like spider weeks ago
A tarantula-like spider which has been biting an elderly man in his sleep has been in his house for several weeks, according to the RSPCA.

The 76-year-old man first noticed a large spider running out of a box of bananas he bought some weeks ago.

Police inspected his house in Newport, south Wales but found nothing. The man subsequently suffered two bites.

He finally spotted the spider early on Wednesday morning. The RSPCA is now trying to remove it from his home.

He noticed a large spider months ago when he bought the bananas
Gethin Russell Jones

The arachnid is described as being as large as a human hand.

RSPCA spokesman Gethin Russell Jones said a collection officer had been despatched to the home in Bettws, near Newport, to retrieve the spider and take it to a vet for identification.

He told BBC Wales' news website: "He's quite an elderly gentleman. He noticed a large spider months ago when he bought the bananas.

"The police came around and environmental health came but couldn't find anything. He thought it had gone away."

Mr Jones said the pensioner had been bitten twice while he slept but had he had not initially connected it with the spider.

Recently though, he began to feel more ill and while lying in bed in the early hours of Wednesday, he saw the spider running up a wall.

The man, who did not want to be interviewed, was reported to be dehydrated and sick, but it is not clear whether this was as a result of the spider bites or not.


SEE ALSO:
Tarantula fear forces family out
06 Dec 05 |  South West Wales
Help in sight for spider phobia
03 Nov 03 |  Health


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