Story By: Delano Langras, Sub Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
These images show a hairy tarantula that had been accidentally sent to Europe after it wriggled into a bunch of grapes that ended up being sold at a Dutch supermarket.
Bart Van den Akker, from Arnhem in the Netherlands, made the unusual discovery after purchasing a package of Chilean seedless grapes from the Albert Heijn supermarket at a shopping mall in the city’s Kronenburg district.
He told local media: “Last Friday my wife bought a package of grapes at the Albert Heijn in the shopping mall in Kronenburg.
“On Saturday morning I took it out of the fridge and removed some of the grapes to give to my son. Nothing special. Later that day I wanted to take out another bunch. Then I saw this huge tarantula. I was shocked.”
He initially didn’t know what to do but decided to consult a neighbour, Bart Kappen, who he said was an ‘animal expert’.
The pair decided to name the terrifying creature Grape.
Despite its shocking appearance, Kappen said he believes that the creature is still young and has not even grown to its full size yet.
Albert Heijn spokesman Ronald van der Aart branded the find highly exceptional.
He told local media: “You don’t expect to find this among the grapes.
“I’d be shocked by it too, I think. Luckily nothing bad has happened and the spider is still alive.
Meanwhile, he also shed some light on how the creature may have come to be in the packaging.
He said: “We have three suppliers in Chile, around Santiago. We can’t quite trace which supplier it came from.
“Our suppliers harvest the grapes by hand, then they check the bunches on a conveyor belt for defects and strange parts. They cut them to size so that at least 500 grams of grapes fit in a container.
“We suspect that this small tarantula was well camouflaged in a bunch and passed the inspection or that it crawled between the grapes just before the container was closed.”
The shipping firms also include special cooling technology now which is supposed to make it impossible for spiders and other creatures that might have hidden among the grapes to survive. Therefore the fact that this hairy tarantula did survive is surprising.
Kappen now intends to keep the spider -which is reportedly non-poisonous – and has even gone to a local reptile store to buy a special home for the creature.
He added: “We are going to further decorate the terrarium to make it to his liking, with a light for warmth and crickets as food.”
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.