Theresa Arnott of Manitoba, Canada returned home after a Christmas visit to her family in South Africa and found an unexpected guest. CBC news spoke to Theresa who recalled, "I went upstairs to clean the bathroom. I picked up my wicker basket next to the tub and lo and behold, there was this little black scorpion."
The traveler realized that the arthropod must have made the trip from South Africa as a stowaway in her luggage. “My clean clothes, I put it over the chair, and I didn’t hang it back in the closet until the next day. So he must have been in hide out in my clean clothes,” said Theresa. She estimates that the hitchhiking creature is 10 to 12 cm long and named it “Harold,” after Herolds Bay, the area she traveled to.
Originally from South Africa, Theresa is familiar with scorpions but she said that if she encountered Harold back in her hometown he would probably have ended up smashed under her shoe. However, she feels differently in Canada telling the CBC, “Well he survived four long flights from South Africa to Canada and I thought I’ll give the little critter a fighting chance.” Theresa plans on contacting Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo in attempts to get Harold adopted. Until then she’s given him accommodations in a small terrarium and will find Harold crickets on which to dine.
The CBC asked Jeff McFarlane, owner of Aardvark Pets in Winnipeg, about Theresa’s stowaway. He told the station that Harold is probably an emperor scorpion and if so his sting would not be stronger than that of a bee.
Videos and more info: CBC