Unexpected Passenger

January 21st, 2015

The next time you travel by plane, it may be a good idea to check for stowaways. You never know who or what might sneak aboard for the ride. A deadly Bark Scorpion?


Carol Cook, a 51-year-old English woman, was scared out of her wits when she spied a scorpion shuffling through her home in Stansted, Essex after a three week holiday in Australia at the end of September last year. Fortunately for Carol her husband, Gary, swept their unexpected visitor into a glass.
After the shock wore off, the couple named the creature the ‘Beast of Stansted. It will remain with the Cook’s and live in a rectangular plastic container until a new owner can be found

Experts believe the light and dark brown scorpion is an American Bark Scorpion. This species is commonly found in Florida and Arizona. It is one of the most dangerous scorpions in the world, and people should be concerned about coming into contact with one. Bark Scorpions are believed to have venom that is comparable to the deadly snakes. They are very hard to kill when you consider they have been found at Ground Zero with no adverse effects. Their sting is powerful enough to kill children and elderly people. After being bitten, many victims experience what feels like an “electrical current” after intoxication.

A Bark Scorpion diet consists of roaches, beetles, and crickets, but they will eat anything they can find. They are very opportunistic and cunning. They are unique in that they live in small packs whereas most scorpions are solitary. They ambush prey by hiding in a burrow. When the time is right they spring their trap, a sting from behind. They also hide behind rocks and wait for prey. The venom they inject is extremely powerful. It quickly liquefies the kill and the Scorpion drinks it.

In North America it is considered to be the most dangerous of all Scorpions. The elderly and the young are the most at risk from their sting. Despite their visitor’s reputation, Carol remains positive but cautious. “It’s a real possibility that he is from Down Under as they can survive for a long time without food. I’ve seen the The Scorpion King so I know what they are capable of.”

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