Indian Ornamental Tarantula sighted in Visvesvaraya museum, rescued

Indian Ornamental Tarantula sighted in Visvesvaraya museum, rescued

The Indian Ornamental Tarantula rescued from the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum on Wednesday. 

Indian Ornamental Tarantula, a venomous large spider, was spotted in the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum here on Wednesday afternoon, sending the management into a tizzy and alarming wildlife conservationists. 

The rare species was found on the third floor of the museum by two staffers, Raju and Jyothi. They informed their higher-ups and kept a watch on the spider for an hour hoping it will move away. But after it showed no signs of going away, the management called up the wildlife rescue team headed by R Sharath Babu and Rajesh Kumar around 2 pm. 

The team, which arrived within 15 minutes, was startled to see the spider resting on a wall. The team observed it for 15 minutes before deciding to capture it. Accordingly, a carton box was prepared. The team cornered the tarantula to a side, ensnared it with a cloth and moved it into the box, Kumar said. 

The operations caused some discomfort to people visiting the museum. The area had to be cordoned off to ensure the rescue operations were not affected and the tarantula did not get frightened. Being a venomous spider, it has the tendency to attack its prey and in self-defence. 

Wildlife activists in Bengaluru usually get calls for rescuing snakes, slender lorises, turtles, tortoises, squirrels, bonnet macaques, fruit bats and birds such as barbets, black kites and crows. On any given day, wildlife rescuers and BBMP forest cell workers get 150-200 calls to rescue snakes. A tarantula sighting is rare. 

A similar tarantula was rescued from a timber yard in North Bengaluru's Yeshwantpur in 2014. According to ornithologists and herpetologists, Cubbon Park (which abuts the museum) houses these tarantulas but they are rarely sighted in urban spaces. Only twice have they been sighted in Cubbon Park in the past 18 years: the last sighting was in 2013 when it was found dead. There are unconfirmed reports of the spider having been sighted in Cubbon Park in 2016.