A few dozen lucky arachnids are on their way to loving homes after a brief stop at the Victoria Bug Zoo.
The local museum took in 31 ‘vinegaroons’ (mastigoproctus giganteus) from a hoarding situation in Surrey last month where they were found in a home filled with thousands of other insects and reptiles.
Crowded together in a small bin, the vinegaroons were malnourished and dehydrated, and while many of the seized critters were humanely euthanized, 31 vinegaroons and two milipedes were sent to Vancouver Island’s resident bug experts. There, they were fed and watered and quickly adopted by eager bug enthusiasts.
Victoria Bug Zoo general manager Jaymie Chudiak said the new bug parents have been given specific care instructions, including what to do in case their new vinegaroon turns out to be pregnant.
|Victoria Bug Zoo general manager Jaymie Chudiak holds one of the vinegaroons rescued from a hoarding situation in Surrey last month. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)|
“Unfortunately that’s one of the things that can happen when you deal with arthropods (exoskeleton invertebrates), their job is to make lots of themselves – have lots of babies,” Chudiak said. “We’ve been very careful about saying to people, ‘no more than one or two to a home’ so as to avoid [hoarding] situations like this happening in the future.”
According to Chudiak, vinegaroons are named for the acidic fluid that shoots from their rear end as a defense mechanism against their common predator, the camel spider. Originating from Arizona, the bugs aren’t exactly rare, but their gentle and slow-moving nature makes them a popular pet. They have lobster like claws and eight legs – two of which adapted to become feelers for the mostly blind arachnids.
“Most people who have been asking for them are people who already have pet reptiles and tarantulas, so I feel like they are going to really good homes, to people that are for sure going to be able to take really good care of them,” Chudiak said. “This is the ideal outcome. This is what they were brought here for.”
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