Customs find 100 live tarantulas in rubber shoes
MORE than 100 live tarantulas, a hairy member of the spider family, were found concealed inside rubber shoes shipped through a courier and express-mail delivery service in its warehouse at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).
The parcel was shipped by a certain “Michal Krolicki” from Poland to a consignee in General Trias, Cavite.
Customs operatives found the arachnids when they x-rayed the package, and saw suspicious images that demanded actual examination. That was when they found the live tarantulas in individual plastic vials.
The tarantulas were turned over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (DENR WTMU) for proper handling and care.
In 2019, Customs Naia intercepted 757 live tarantulas concealed inside oatmeal and cookie boxes and 87 live spiders inside white plastic canisters, both came from Poland.
Despite their creepy look on account of their hair, tarantulas are deemed largely harmless to humans though their bites could be painful. The venom is considered mild to humans, supposedly weaker than a typical bee’s, but in some cases, the venom has caused serious injury to dogs.
Tarantulas are classified as endangered wildlife species, and illegal wildlife trading is penalized with imprisonment of six months and one day to one year and a fine of P10,000 to P200,000 in accordance with the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.— Source: Recto Mercene / businessmirror.com.ph