Mystery Meat: Live Crab Arrives With Online Grocery Order

A U.K. supermarket is at a loss to explain how a live crab could have been delivered to one of their customers with her online order, as their delivery depot reportedly stocks no live animals or seafood.

Harriet Stapley, 30, from The Slade in Kent ordered some groceries from the local Tesco supermarket online and a delivery driver promptly delivered her bread, milk and other groceries to her home.

According to a report by the Daily Express, when Stapley was unpacking her groceries, she found she had received something a little extra with her order – a tiny, black live crab.

Reportedly the black crab was chilling out on top of a pack of yogurt pots Stapley had purchased for her young son. While the only fish Stapley had ordered was a sealed pack of salmon, it turns out she got a little extra seafood in the form of the tiny live crustacean.

The mother-of-three, who works as a child minder, was stunned, saying, “I couldn’t believe it – I thought it was dead at first.”

“I told my three year-old son Jack, who took him outside – and then he started to move.”

According to the Mirror Online, Stapley said she then asked herself what she could do with a live crab, as she didn’t want to see it die, but at first came up with nothing.

Reportedly, Stapley then decided to phone the supermarket chain’s customer services department to tell them of her discovery and a puzzled (and apparently rather dubious) employee told her she should get in contact with the local RSPCA.

According to Stapley, she couldn’t get hold of anyone at the RSPCA when she called, so she phoned Tesco customer services again. They reportedly said they would come and collect the crab and that they would release the crab into a lake.

“I just thought ‘I can do that myself’,” Stapley said.

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Reportedly, she then filled a bucket with some water and rocks and plopped in the tiny black crab. She then had to decide where to take it. Her children, possibly hoping for a seaside treat, suggested taking it to the seashore.


Stapley said, “My children wanted to take him to the seaside but I thought he wouldn’t last that long so we put him in a bucket of water with some rocks and then took him to Bradbourne Lakes.”

Stapley and the children then released the little black live crab into the wild.

Later, a spokesman for Tesco said they deliver online shopping orders in Stapley’s area from a warehouse in Aylesford, but stressed they keep no live animals or fish at that location and have absolutely no idea where the little live crab could have come from.

The spokesman said, “It’s difficult to explain how the crab has made it so far away from its natural habitat but we’ve promised Ms Stapley we’ll investigate.”

There was no report as to whether the crab was a fresh water or salt water crustacean, so one can only hope he did survive and live happily ever after.

[Photo via Flickr by Eric Sonstroem, cropped and resized/CC BY 2.0]