From the title of the blog, you might suspect that this whole blog is about tarantulas. It is true, I do own five of them right now, but I haven't been writing much about them. I have had one of them for over 13 years now. The reason I haven't written more is, well, they're kind of boring. Don't get me wrong, I love looking at them and watching their individual behaviors, learning the nuances of each different species and each different animal. But it usually doesn't make good blogging material.
Until one gets loose.
About two weeks ago, right before my California trip, I went to add water to the cages, and noticed that one of the cages was empty. Uhoh.... This particular cage has a lid that's not immediately obvious when it hasn't been secured. But the spider (this was the Zebra Knee) occasionally tests the perimeter, much like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park, and this time her persistence paid off.
I had no idea how long she had been gone.
I spent a few days looking in all the spots I could imagine going if I were a tarantula, and hoping that I found it before a neighbor or a visitor did. I wasn't too worried; they are scary looking if you're not used to them, but this particular one is quite unlikely to hurt someone... the bite does have venom, but nothing more serious than a bee sting, and it would not try to do that anyway unless someone cornered it and started poking at it to provoke it. But I was worried that I'd hear a scream from one of the other apartments, followed by a *whump* sound, and know that there was one less tarantula in the world and one more stained Chicago phone book to take its place.
It all ended well, though. Wednesday morning I got a call from my new neighbor across the hall. "I just found this huge tarantula in the hallway. Do you know anyone here who has one? I'm not sure what to do with it!" She had the presence of mind to get a shoe box, catch it, tape the box shut, and even added some air holes. I'm thankful to have friendly, understanding neighbors! :-) So, the spider is safely back home. Hopefully now we can go back to our normal boring routine!