In Colombia, 500 spiders were sent to Germany by car in secret market

A ring of Colombia’s National Police in Ceja, northern Colombia, seized 500 exotic spiders and their eggs bound for Germany in a clandestine market. The spiders, whose venom could be used as an anti-cancer…

In Colombia, 500 spiders were sent to Germany by car in secret market

A ring of Colombia’s National Police in Ceja, northern Colombia, seized 500 exotic spiders and their eggs bound for Germany in a clandestine market. The spiders, whose venom could be used as an anti-cancer treatment, were hidden in hollowed out books. Colombian police seized the remains of the market, located in the small town of Santa Maria de A.B, and an Internet connection used to order the spiders.

An image of the captured insects was posted on Colombian police Facebook page. It seems these insects make a decent substitute for piranhas (a neighboring country’s giant native land-dwelling fish) if you want a bed of them — many people in Colombia consume piranhas with pork, which supposedly improves its cholesterol levels and causes local bloating. The small boxes of spiders, which were shipped in a septic tank and were placed in the false bottom of a shopping cart, were unloaded from a trucks into special semi-trailers. Apparently no trouble was encountered.

In South America, Spider monkeys and a southern bull spider are the most venomous species. Almost half of Americans who are bitten by spiders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, develop symptoms of a potentially fatal mycoplasma infection that can be treated with antibiotics. The source of the millions of spiders seized in recent years by authorities was unclear. (The Travel Channel suggested in 2010 that they might be laced with heroin, as the masked handlers of the package of spiders seemed too exuberant).

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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