An exotic tarantula has been found on a train which arrived at London Bridge station, after thoroughly spooking capital commuters.
The pink-toed tarantula was taken to station staff last Friday who contacted the RSPCA for help.
An animal rescue officer has since taken the 3.5cm spider to South Essex Wildlife Hospital, after suspecting its owner abandoned him on the line.
“Passengers got more than they bargained for when they spotted this little guy on the train. He was shut inside a plastic tub so we believe he had been abandoned in the carriage,” said Mat Hawkins, who rescued the spider.
Pink-toed tarantulas are said to be popular pets in the exotic animal world, however, they do require specialist care.
Native to Central and South America, as well as some islands in the Southern Caribbean, pink-toed tarantulas need to be kept in warm, humid environments when in captivity.
Some owners are often unaware of the commitment when buying pets such as the abandoned spider, which risks poor animal welfare, the RSPCA has said.
The animal protection agency added: “Anyone thinking of getting any kind of pet should do lots of research first, using expert sources, to ensure that the species is right for them and that they can properly meet their needs.”