A live scorpion hitched a ride in a bag of groceries last week, sending shivers down the spines of the Scottish family who discovered the creepy crawler.
Dumfries resident Amanda Johnstone returned home from her shopping trip to find a scorpion resting in the bottom of her grocery bag along with her newly purchased bananas. The three-inch-long creature was quickly captured but not before causing quite a ruckus in the Johnstone family kitchen.
After being discovered nestled among the banana bunch, the sneaky scorpion was inadvertently knocked to the kitchen floor. It immediately started scurrying toward Johnstone’s six-year-old son and her elderly mother.
A bit of understandable panic ensued as the family tried to avoid the skittering scorpion’s path. Amanda Johnstone described the chaotic scene: “Ross started shouting, ‘Scorpion, scorpion!’ I saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is a bloody scorpion’. Mum’s just had her knees replaced. I’ve never seen her move so fast — the [operation] definitely worked. I was absolutely terrified.”
“I thought they were all poisonous,” Johnstone added.
She quickly enlisted the help of her 29-year-old nephew Aaron, who managed to scoop the unwanted guest into a pint glass, taking care not to harm the scorpion.
The Johnstones contacted their local branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, relating the story of the scorpion that made itself at home among their groceries. The agency was able to identify the tiny terror as a juvenile giant desert hairy scorpion.
“The lady was terrified when she called us, although she had managed to contain the scorpion in a jar,” explained Tricia Smith, a rescue officer with the organization. “It’s just bigger than a fifty pence piece at the moment, indicating it’s quite young as an adult can reach up to six inches long.”
“Desert hairy scorpions aren’t deadly but, if bitten, the pain could vary from that of a bee-sting to intense inflammation and sickness,” she continued. “They’re native to North America so it’s likely this scorpion has come over to Scotland with the bananas.”
Also known as the Arizona Desert hairy scorpion, the creepy creatures are considered to be the largest scorpion species in North America. Its enormous size contributes to the creature’s ability to gobble up prey such as snakes, lizards, and other scorpions.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is now helping the critter who crashed the Johnstone’s house find some new digs. According to Tricia Smith, the agency is looking for “a home with an experienced and knowledgeable owner where [the scorpion] can receive the care it needs.”
How would you react if you found a scorpion hiding in your groceries?
[Top and bottom images via Wikipedia]