Pop quiz: What are urticating hairs?
If you answered without checking out the Wiki page, I'm going to go out on a limb and
say that you already read about the man in Leeds, England, who was cleaning his
tarantula's tank when he was shot in the face with urticating
hairs early last year. The incident left the man with a red, watery, and
light-sensitive eye for months, and now doctors are urging people to wear eye
protection when handling their spiders.
We've got even better advice: Never buy tarantulas or any other exotic animals in the first place. Tarantulas
and other animals such as hedgehogs, lizards, and macaws who are purchased as pets suffer from the overwhelming
stress of unnatural confinement and loneliness, so it's no surprise that they
often lash out at owners who are usually unaware of their complex needs.
Tarantulas are highly
intelligent animals who build tented shelters, and they're compassionate—mother
tarantulas are known to starve themselves so that their offspring can eat. They
shouldn't have to spend their lives trapped in tanks.
Posted by Logan Scherer