Society

Missing Pet Flyer For Pregnant Tarantula Penelope In Brooklyn Turns Out To Be Hoax

| by Khier Casino

A story of a missing pregnant tarantula named Penelope who was allegedly on the loose in Park Slope, Brooklyn in New York City turned out to be a hoax.

“I know she looks crazy scary, but she’s mostly harmless. She’s pregnant, so I’m hoping to find her before she has her babies,” the tarantula’s owner wrote on missing pet flyers plastered around Park Slope.

“She’s mostly active at night and she tends to hide in dark corners. She shouldn’t bite, but sometimes she jumps,” read the posters, which featured a large photo of the Mexican red rump tarantula.

The New York Times reported Friday that a man who answered the number on the poster finally confessed it was a prank.

“I always see those signs for missing dogs and cats taped up on posts; I thought, ‘What’s the most absurd poster I could come up with?’” the unidentified man said. “I thought it was so beyond ridiculous that no one would take it seriously. I was wrong.”

According to the New York Post, the five-inch spiders, which are poisonous but can’t kill humans, lay up to 300 eggs and live up to 25 years, experts say.

But some passers-by fell for the joke.

“We get missing pets like dogs and cats, but not a spider,” a local resident told the New York Daily News. “I’ll look out for it. It’s kind of scary.”

Others were confused by the poster.

“I don't know if it's a joke, because the streets are kind of filled with young hipsters now,” another resident said. “I hope it's not a real spider; I’m afraid. I guess a spider is better than rats.”

Penelope even has her own Twitter account.

Got a couple hundred kids hungry for your Pre-K spot

— Penelope (@BKTarantula) July 11, 2014

Me on my way to steal your man pic.twitter.com/7uy4qwYtvR

— Penelope (@BKTarantula) July 11, 2014

“I never expected it to blow up,” the prankster, who works as a web designer, said. “I thought, ‘Oh, man.’ I actually didn’t know how to spell tarantula. I had to Google that.”

Sources: New York TimesNew York PostNew York Daily News