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'Fluffy' Tarantula Named Gwen Looking for a Home After Massachusetts Owner Moved

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/13/2021 Jason Murdock
a close up of a spider: A stock image shows a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula. Rose Hair tarantula Gwen is looking for a new home. A stock image shows a Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula. Rose Hair tarantula Gwen is looking for a new home.

A Massachusetts animal center is seeking adopters interested in caring for a fluffy pet that's not the usual cat or dog, but a tarantula named Gwen.

The animal protection and veterinary medicine charity MSPCA-Angell said on Facebook on Tuesday that its Boston adoption center was on the hunt for people who are able to provide the "careful handling and specialized care" that's required by the spider.

The MSPCA Boston Adoption Center wrote on its social media feed this week: "If you've been looking for a fluffy pet, this may be your chance... we're looking for a home that is prepared to manage these needs and keep Gwen safe and healthy."

The spider is a rose hair tarantula, believed to be female and estimated to be around 4 years old. It was surrendered to the facility on January 10 after its owners found they could not take the spider to their new home, ABC6 reported.

The center said that Gwen could live for another 15 years and is likely to already be fully grown. It was described by CBS Boston as being roughly the size of a teacup saucer.

Mike Keiley, the MSPCA-Angell director of adoption centers and programs, said: "It's always interesting for our staff and volunteers when a tarantula comes into our care as they are so unusual for us to see. We're looking for a dedicated owner that can keep up with specialized care, and someone experienced with tarantulas more generally."

Meet Gwen, our four year old Rose Hair Tarantula! If you’ve been looking for a fluffy pet, this may be your chance! 🤪🕷 Tarantulas require careful handing and specialized care, so we’re looking for a...

Keiley told ABC6 approximately 10 different tarantulas being handed to the MSPCA over the last two decades. He said they are not difficult to care for but require "time and attention" from a human owner.

According to a blog detailing the responsibilities and hazards of keeping tarantulas as pets that appeared to have been written by Cornell University spider expert Linda Rayor, the spiders need relatively little attention however require a consistent level of care in order to live out their potentially lengthy lifespans.

She said that tarantulas need to be fed "once or twice a week depending on their hunger levels," kept in a cage with the correct humidity and correct size and given water. Most tarantulas come from tropical areas so will need to be kept relatively warm.

Unfortunately for Gwen, the rose hair species did not get a glowing review from Rayor, who described them as "gentle, slow-moving, lovely, cheap but a painfully boring tarantula." But she did say that "some people love their rose hairs and find them interesting animals."

Indeed, those attributes did not seem to be an issue for one Facebook user who stated under the center's post that they had already applied to home the spider.

The person said in their Facebook comment: "Gwen seems like such a gentle old lady, haha. Grammostola roseas [Rose Hairs] are honestly so beautiful and underrated. She would fit in right with my crew too! I have quite a few arachnids as well as other invertebrates.

"Gwen sounds like a perfect match to my name theme too! Merlin, Hermione, Warlock, Cypha, Sybil, Salem, Hex, and the rest of the crew would adore to have a big sister!"

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