COUNTY NEWS: Large tarantula goes a-wandering in Sussex town for almost a month

Miguel

Miguel

A large tarantula has been reunited with its owner after going missing for almost a month in a Sussex town.

Miguel, a salmon pink birdeater spider, broke free from his tank on Thursday, August 18.

His frantic owner, Lisa Astell-Brook, turned her house upside down in order to find him but without success.

She had to resort to using social media to appeal for information after Miguel went missing in Bexhill.

Lisa, 28, said: “I’ve had Miguel for four to five months and got him from someone who had a collection of spiders who wanted to rehome them.

“Miguel is normally in a tank but somehow he managed to get one of his legs out through one of the gaps in the tank, lifted its lid and squeezed out.”

Lisa added she and her husband ripped up their decking in their garden in order to find Miguel.

She added: “We took the cabinets in the kitchen off the walls to see if he was hiding behind them and turned all the furniture in the house upside down but couldn’t find him anywhere.”

Lisa told her neighbours about Miguel’s disappearance so they could keep an eye out for the missing tarantula.

She added: “I have two dogs and a cat and was worried they had eaten Miguel.

“We even had to check our shoes every day before putting them on in case he was inside.”

Two weeks after the tarantula - whose leg span is eight inches long - went walkabout, Lisa decided to post appeals up on Facebook.

She said: “These sort of spiders generally stay within proximity to their enclosure so we thought he hadn’t gone far.

“I rang local pet shops asking for advice, as well as contacting online forums.”

Lisa posted appeals on The Bexhill-on-Sea Group’s Facebook page.

She said: “There were a mixture of responses, some that were negative, but a lot stuck up for me, saying people’s cats and dogs disappear all the time.”

Eventually Lisa received a call and message on Facebook last week while she was tending to her horses in Three Oaks to say Miguel had been found in the street in Links Drive.

He was spotted on a grass verge by a neighbour’s car.

Lisa said: “They ran inside to get a saucepan but when they came back out, Miguel had gone.

“He was eventually caught in a lunchbox and wasn’t very happy.

“I don’t think he had gone very far while he was missing. I think he went through the back of the garden, through a neighbour’s garden, up the road and on the communal green in the street. I’m glad to have him back and my husband is glad Miguel wasn’t running around in the house.”

The salmon pink birdeater grows at a fast rate, reaching sizes of 7.5 to 10 inches.

They are ground dwellers living in the Brazilian rain forest.

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