Story By: Simon Glover, Sub Editor:Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This huge European centipede capable of delivering a poisonous bite was found by the terrified mum of an 18-month-old toddler in a pile of freshly washed baby clothes.
Alarmed at the sight of the bright yellow and black striped creepy-crawly at her home in the Polish capital city of Warsaw, the woman called the cops.
And a team from the police’s Eko Patrol, which deals with wildlife issues, was quickly sent to the family home to identify and deal with the creature.
Experts quickly confirmed that the 12-centimetre (4.7-inch) centipede was a venomous Scolopendra cingulata, also known as a Megarian banded centipede.
The woman, whose name has not been revealed, told officers that she had found the creature in a pile of washing she had been about to dry.
She admitted that she had been shocked and frightened by the sight – especially with a toddler in her care.
Eko Patrol officers searched the woman’s flat to make sure there were no more creepy-crawlies hidden away before checking over the centipede and taking it to Warsaw Zoo.
Scolopendra cingulata is the largest predatory and venomous arthropod to be found in Europe but its venom is only of a moderate strength.
So, while the bite of its tropical cousins can cause severe pain and even death in humans, the Scolopendra cingulata is less dangerous.
It is more normally found in the hills and mountains of Spain, France, Italy, Greece and also North Africa.
Due to its size and ease of capture, it is popular with bug enthusiasts and it is believed this one must have escaped from a nearby flat.