A new resident was welcomed onto the Island on Saturday, but don’t expect to see her out and about in your neighbourhood any time soon.
A scorpion that was found in a Vancouver woman’s kitchen settled into its new home, the Victoria Bug Zoo, Saturday afternoon.
Dr. Adrian Walton, a veterinarian at Dewdney Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge, and his family brought the eight-legged critter over on the early morning ferry. By about 11 a.m., she was taken out of her box and placed into a new terrarium.
Last week, a woman in Vancouver who just came back from a trip to Cuba found the arachnid in her home. Rather than killing it, she drove it over to the animal hospital where Walton works.
“She’s the true hero of this story,” Walton said.
He said at first it was believed the scorpion was an Arizona striped scorpion, which has been brought into the hospital before. However, it was a little faster than normal and the colouring was slightly off so Walton called the Victoria Bug Zoo for help.
“It turned out to be something a little bit more toxic than I’m comfortable dealing with,” Walton said. “We as a family decided maybe a road trip was in order.”
The Victoria Bug Zoo welcomed the critter, who was being called a “she” with open arms.
Kalene Lillico, who is in charge of outreach at the zoo, said the scorpion will be in an enclosure on its own for some time but will soon be on display in the zoo for others to see.
When it was finally placed into its enclosure, it scurried around inside, pincers in the air, as it tried to smell its new surroundings. Lillico said the scorpion was very active but attributed it to curiosity rather than aggression.
“We are so excited to meet this little lady,” Lillico said.
Lillico also noted that the scorpion’s tail is very thick and her pincers are very small, meaning she has potent venom that could be very painful to a human if they were stung.
The scorpion could be a species called the Cuban scorpion, Lillico said, since the woman who found it just went on a vacation there.
“Their venom is not too bad by any means, it’s not going to put you in the grave,” Lillico said. “But it’s not going to feel good, it’s definitely going to hurt.”
The Victoria Bug Zoo will also be giving members of the public the chance to name the scorpion soon through a contest.
“We know it’s going to spend the next 10 years having a wonderful life,” Walton said.