Sting in the tail for shopper

A SNAPPY surprise was in store for a Barley man who bought a bunch of bananas containing a live scorpion. Eddie Collins discovered the Euscorpius flavicaudis, or European scorpion, in the bananas which he purchased from Tesco in Royston. He said: It

A SNAPPY surprise was in store for a Barley man who bought a bunch of bananas containing a live scorpion.

Eddie Collins discovered the Euscorpius flavicaudis, or European scorpion, in the bananas which he purchased from Tesco in Royston.

He said: "It was a bit of a shock when it crawled out from under the bananas. I managed to get it into a matchbox then checked it out in a book I've got about insects.

"Once I realised it wasn't going to hurt me I got in touch with Shepreth Wildlife Park to see if they would be able to find a home for it.


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"The bananas came from the Dominican Republic so I'm amazed that it survived the journey. They're having a lot of storms over there at the moment so it's likely that it crawled into one of the banana boxes to shelter."

The scorpion has been handed to Grace Dickinson, who will keep it in her private collection.

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Grace, who is a keeper at Shepreth Wildlife Park, said: "I've named our little scorpion Lucy, and she's been introduced to a live tank, which she is sharing with other invertebrates such as giant millipedes and fruit beetles."

"The European scorpion is actually native to Africa but was accidentally introduced to South America and Southern Europe about 200 years ago, when some individuals stowed away on boats."

In the last year Shepreth Wildlife Park has received several other stowaways, including a huntsman spider from another shipment of bananas, and a dwarf gecko and camel spider which both came from a consignment of silk.

And Grace believes it won't be long before there are a few more scorpions joining her collection.

"Usually when animals have had such a traumatic experience they aren't in great condition. But Lucy is very well and actually looks quite fat. I think it's likely she is pregnant," she said.

A spokesman for Tesco said: ""We want to reassure customers this was a very unusual and rare occurrence and we are really sorry for what must have been a real scare.

"Even with all the expertise, checks and will in the world it is not always possible to completely legislate for the natural world.

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