Worried members of the public who spotted a bright red scorpion on a pavement in Grantham cordoned off their stree and called in the RSPCA for help.
But when the RSPCA’s nearest officer arrived at the scene she quickly realised all was not as it seemed…
RSPCA animal collection officer Paula Jones arrived at Greyfriars, Grantham, on Thursday (March 22) after an early-morning call from a woman reporting a deadly-looking scorpion sitting on the pavement.
“We had a concerned lady get in touch with our 24-hour emergency hotline to report the scorpion to us and ask for help,” ACO Jones said.
“She explained that a child had spotted the creature before they went to check. I was dealing with another emergency elsewhere but headed over to Grantham as quickly as possible.
“Some types of scorpions are highly venomous making them potentially very dangerous. The callers were really concerned about the public’s safety so they used cones to cordon off the area and stood out in the street for two hours to ensure no one went near it.”
However, when ACO Jones and her colleague deputy chief inspector Becky Lowe arrived, they quickly realised that the scorpion was a fake rubber toy.
“It was quite funny after we realised it was a child’s toy and wouldn’t be a threat to anyone. But we really appreciate the concern of the woman and the efforts she went to,” ACO Jones added. “Cecil the scorpion is now my van buddy and keeps me company on the road!”
The RSPCA receives a number of calls every year from members of the public who have found spiders, lizards or scorpions, often when the animal has stowed away in a suitcase on holiday or in a delivery of fruit from abroad. Anyone who comes across an exotic creature should get in touch with the charity’s 24-hour hotline for advice by calling 0300 1234 999 and should not handle them as they could be dangerous.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in need of care go to www.rspca.org.uk.