One Suitor So Far For The Swampscott Tarantula

The Swampscott animal control officer received a phone message from an ASPCA person who inquired about having the tarantula shipped to a far-off destination.


Swampscott Animal Control Officer Diane Treadwell is not fond of arachnids but she has been getting use to caring for the tarantula found Monday at the .

So far she has received one inquiry from a person interested in adopting the tarantula, which she has nicknamed Harry Houdini.

That call was a phone message left from an ASPCA representative who is interested in having Harry shipped to their location.

Harry is eating well and got a bath of sorts on Monday night — a misting, mist sprayed from a bottle of water, said the animal control officer.

A few more details have emerged about how Harry came into the town's possession.

On Monday morning a former Department of Public Works employee, Steve Caproni, had parked over by the DPW garage at the Swampscott cemetery, said DPW Director Gino Cresta.

Something crawling in the grass caught Steve's attention.

It was in an open grassy area that will eventually become cemetery plots. It's located to the left when facing the garage, the director said.

PJ Plourde came out with a piece of cardboard, or something like that, and forced the tarantula into a glass container.

DPW dropped off Harry at the station and the animal control officer collected him. 

The prevailing thought among DPW workers is that someone got sick of caring for the arachnid and ditched it at the cemetery. But no one knows how it got there.

It's a first for the cemetery. Crews have seen coyote, deer, fox and other critters at the Essex Street burial grounds but never a tarantula.

This tarantula won't likely be buried any time soon.

They can live for decades, according to Wikipedia, which says some species take up to 10 years to reach maturity. Some females have lived 30 to 40 years, and survived on water alone for two years, the online encyclopdia says.

No one has positively identified Harry's species but Swampscott resident Ray DePaula said it look likes a Chilean rose tarantula.



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