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Posted: 2017-10-31

Charity shares tales of its spooky call-outs
Grey long-eared bat Merri was found grounded in Merriott, Somerset and needed round-the-clock care.

The RSPCA’s top 10 ‘scary’ rescues 

In honour of Halloween, the RSPCA has revealed its ‘scariest’ call outs over the past year - from black cats and spiders to giant rats and flapping bats.

Whilst some people may get the heebie-jeebies when they see a creepy crawly scuttling across the floor, RSPCA inspectors help creatures of all shapes and sizes everyday.

It’s top 10 scary call outs are:
1. North American black widow
Warehouse workers found this deadly stowaway in a box of plane parts at Gatwick Airport. They coaxed the spider into a plastic tub until the RSPCA arrived. It is thought the spider - nicknamed Nadia - crawled into the package in Arizona 10 months earlier. She was moved to a wildlife establishment.

2. Caiman
A 2ft long spectacled caiman was found abandoned at the Chew Valley reservoir, which is managed by Bristol Water. It is thought the animal was being kept illegally, without a license. He has since been rehomed.

3. Rat
Domestic rat Bezzie was found scuttling across the floor in the kitchen of a terrified woman’s Birmingham home. Bezzie was taken in by the RSPCA.

4. Giant arachnid
Workers at a storage company in Suffolk got a shock when they found a huge huntsman spider as they unloaded goods from a crate. The spider was taken to a local exotic animal specialist who kept her permanently.

5. Tiny bat
Earlier this year a member of the public got a fright when they found a tiny bat in the plughole of the bath. RSPCA inspector Kirstie Gillard said the little bat pup was about half the size of her thumb. When she managed to get him out he was wet and lethargic but perked up when she made him mini hot water bottles using disposable gloves. He was taken to the Wildlife Aid Foundation hospital and released a few days later.

6. Tarantula
A tarantula the size of a person’s hand was left in a plastic box and discovered by a member of the public in the street.The Brazilian salmon pink tarantula is the third largest tarantula species in the world - it can grow to a leg span of 10 inches. He was rescued by the charity and later rehomed.

7. Venomous snake
An RSPCA inspector rushed to a house in March, Cambridgeshire, last month after a venomous long false water cobra escaped from his vivarium and became lodged beneath the wardrobe. Inspector Richard Lythgoe managed to safely catch the snake and checked he was uninjured. At the time of his escape, he was being looked after by a friend of his owner, but he is now back home and doing well.

8. Huntsman spider
Worried workers at a removals company in Surrey called the charity when they found a huntsman spider in a shipping container. He had traveled for more than three months and 10,000 miles from Brisbane to the UK. He was rehomed with a specialist.

9. Thumbelina
A frightened rat was discovered in a shoebox in south London with a heartbreaking note, saying ‘Pls rehome me, can’t keep her’. The rat, named Thumbelina, was taken in by the charity for rehoming.

10. Rare bat
Grey long-eared bat Merri was found grounded in Merriott, Somerset, this year, and ended up at a wildlife centre in nearby Taunton. Bat carer India Long said the animal was very close to death; underweight and suffering from a nasty leg injury. There were signs she would still have been dependent on her mother so she needed round-the-clock care. Staff are now looking for a suitable location to release her. The species is one of the rarest bats in England.

The RSPCA asks members of the public to keep an eye out for animals in trouble. If concerned, call the 24-hour emergency hotline 0300 1234 999.

Image © RSPCA

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