The now infamous photo of the newly discovered puppy-sized spider sent shivers down the spines of spider fearing individuals around the world, creating an instant internet sensation. The gigantic arachnid became an unlikely internet celebrity just as the Halloween spirit began to creep in, possibly adding to its appeal. However, photographer and discoverer Piotr Naskrecki is now being targeted in a web of scrutiny as it was revealed that he killed the eight-legged beast after taking the photo, in the name of science of course.
Many viewers of the puppy-sized spider’s photo surely screamed ‘kill it with fire’, but many more are upset that Piotr decided to euthanize the supposedly rare creature and are accusing him of animal cruelty. Poitr defended his decision to properly euthanize and preserve the creature, stating that it is not a rare species, in fact it is pretty common and that collecting the specimen is integral to ongoing biological research.
“Collecting and preservation of physical specimens is an integral, irreplaceable element of biological sciences. There is hardly a branch of biology that does not rely on the examination of organisms’ bodies (the only exception I can think of is ethology, and only some variants of it), be it for the purpose of their identification, understanding of the functions of their respiratory system, or the speed of transmission of neural signals.”
The puppy-sized spider, more commonly known as the South American Goliath Birdeater, or Theraphosa Blondi, is known as the world’s largest spider and is often found weighing in at a staggering 6 oz. It is known to be quite a dangers spider to small animals that it happens to encounter while hunting within the litter of decaying leaves on the ground, but is also known to be quite shy when approached.
Although the spider is not considered endangered, by any means, many individuals took to Piotr’s Facebook page to scrutinize him for killing the puppy-sized spider in the name of science. Joe Tackett shared his dismay with Poitr.
“Your nothing but a poacher. I mean that’s what poachers do kill rare animals for gratification of some kind money, fame what ever it’s all the same. You, the place that employes you and the museum should be shamed. In fact maybe we should see how you work for and the museum that has if and write them an email as well.”
The onslaught of negative comments lead Naskrecki to explain his decision to euthanize the spider, on his blog. The post titled, “Involuntary Bioslaughter and Why a Spider is Dead” received positive feedback and calmed some of the web of hatred that began to spin out of control.
What are your thoughts on killing the spider in the name of science?