A tarantula crossing the road in Death Valley, California, is being blamed for causing a major traffic accident that sent a motorcyclist to the hospital.
On October 28, a Swiss couple was driving a rented van in Death Valley National Park when they spotted the furry arachnid crossing the highway. Reflexively, the tourists hit the brakes to avoid killing him. Tarantulas move slowly and are blind, so any type of fast-moving vehicle can be a hazard.
The abrupt braking, however, caused a 24-year-old Canadian motorcyclist who was behind to hit the back of the vehicle. He was injured and had to be sent to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, where his condition remains uncertain, reports The Guardian.
The tarantula, however, “came away unharmed” from the accident, said park officials, who warn visitors to drive carefully and be aware of the environment and local biodiversity. Tarantulas are the largest spider in the US, grow between two and three inches long – and spend most of their lives in silk-lined burrows.
Late autumn marks the mass migration of tarantulas, during which males between the ages of eight and ten go out en masse in search of a mate, which was likely the case with the arachnid above, according to park officials. . Despite their unfriendly appearance, tarantulas are not aggressive, their bite is similar to a bee sting and is not deadly to humans.