Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Student wakes up next to scorpion

Student Vicky Raitt found this tropical scorpion in her bed in Aberdeen (Scottish SPCA/PA)

A student woke with a fright when she found a tropical scorpion inches from her face.

Vicky Raitt spotted the Asian forest scorpion as she lay in bed in her flat in Orchard Street, Aberdeen, last week.

The 23-year-old zoology student had recently returned from a trip to Borneo and thinks the three-inch scorpion must have climbed into her suitcase before she left.

Despite the fright of finding the harmful scorpion, which had its tail raised poised to sting, she managed to find a plastic tub and contain it before calling the Scottish SPCA. Asian forest scorpions are not deadly but can cause intense inflammation and sickness with their sting.

Ms Raitt said: "I opened my eyes and the scorpion was literally a hand's length away from my face with its tail raised. I jumped out of bed and, after doing a double take to make sure I hadn't imagined it, I ran to the kitchen to get a plastic tub to put it in.

"My suitcase was damaged on the way home from Borneo so I think it crawled inside through the hole. I'd been back for five days before I found the scorpion so it must have been living with me all that time. Once I got over the initial shock of finding it I was okay, but it's still quite scary to think what could have happened if I hadn't woke up and it had stung me."

The scorpion, which was found last Friday, is now in the care of the Scottish SPCA's Aberdeenshire rescue centre in Drumoak, but it could soon be heading for Inverness to be kept in an exotic animal rescue charity run by Nick Martin.

Scottish SPCA inspector Fiona McKenzie said: "It must have been a real shock for Vicky to wake up and find this scorpion in her bed and she did very well to safely contain it before contacting us.

"Given Vicky has recently been to Borneo, it's most likely the scorpion has come over to Scotland inside her suitcase.

"We're very pleased Nick has offered this scorpion a new home as we know he has the knowledge and experience to provide it with proper care and a suitable environment."

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