Police in central Sweden managed to successfully carry out a rather bizarre assignment in which they were instructed to catch a rare Mexican spider.
Police in Vasteras were told on Thursday evening that a large arachnid had been spotted in the Bjurhovda district. Police spokesman Jimmy Lindvall said they worked out pretty quickly that the spider was a tropical species. Another policeman, who is a spider enthusiast, said that the creature was “rare, protected and valuable”.
The roaming spider spent the night in a terrarium in the police station, and news of its ‘arrest’ spread quickly. At first, police would not say much about the spider, apart from that its body was roughly 10 centimetres, because the owner would have to provide an accurate description of it before they would hand it over. The next morning, however, the rightful owner called the police office to inform them he was missing a spider and, after describing it, was able to reclaim his pet.
It was later learnt that the spider was a Mexican red-kneed tarantula, a poisonous but docile creature that lives in tropical forests. The species was classed as endangered in 1985, but following successful breeding programmes in recent years, people can buy them as pets.