London primary school staff 'freak out' after huge venomous spider from Africa found in delivery box

London primary school staff 'freak out' after huge venomous spider from Africa found in delivery box

WATCH: Woke school reports parents to social services

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 15/05/2024

- 14:30

Some older staff members had been confused when they heard screaming, but Dani Zenith said: 'We weren't scared - we're kind of enthusiasts anyway!'

A giant African spider has been found at a London primary school after it hitched a ride to Britain inside a box of bananas.

Staff at the school in Croydon had screamed when the huntsman spider leapt out of the box.

Dani Zenith, a teaching assistant at the school, said: "We're just a regular primary school and we get free produce sent to us from our local council for the children - we were unboxing the bananas to distribute to the classrooms, and out jumped said spider.

"It was a huntsman and literally jumped out of the box - it probably jumped three feet.

Huntsman spider on bananas

Staff at the school had screamed when the huntsman spider leapt out of the box


"The office staff and the ladies in their mid-20s were screaming, and a couple of us older staff members in our 40s wondered what was going on.

"We happily caught said spider while they were screaming and freaking out. We weren't scared - we're kind of enthusiasts anyway!"

The arachnid in question, a Heteropoda venatoria, was a member of the huntsman or Sparassidae family of spiders - famed for their size, and native to a number of warm and tropical regions around the world.

The huntsman had apparently travelled some 3,000 miles to the school from its home in the Ivory Coast.


Huntsman spider

The huntsman had arrived on a pack of bananas from the Ivory Coast - and has since been rehomed


Zenith, who uses an alias due to the nature of her work, said: "We knew straight away that it wasn't your regular found-indoors giant house spider.

"Myself and another member of staff who is very into spiders - she has her own spider book - wanted to find out what spider it was, and is it native to the UK.

"But every time we put it into a Google search, which I know you can't always rely upon, it just kept coming back as being a huntsman."

Having had doubts, and in search of more answers, Zenith turned to a Natural History Museum page in order to find out more - but Google had been correct; the spider was indeed a huntsman.

While the species can have a leg span of up to five inches when fully grown - but this specimen was a juvenile male, which Zenith thought was six centimetres across.

And though the venomous species can deliver a painful bite, they’re not considered dangerous to humans - and survive on a diet of insects.

Zenith, 45, said: "This, for me, was a positive, fascinating, educational find, and the children and myself loved finding out about this stowaway.

"In no way was it scary or negative or anything to be concerned about... We just opened a box of bananas and out popped this magical creature."

The spider has now been rehomed.

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