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Scorpion wake-up call for student

03 July 2013 09:24

The scorpion is believed to have come over to Scotland inside the woman's suitcase

The scorpion is believed to have come over to Scotland inside the woman's suitcase

A student from Aberdeen was given the fright of her life when she woke up to find a tropical scorpion inches from her face.

Vicky Raitt, who is studying Zoology, spotted the Asian forest scorpion as she lay in bed at her flat in the city.

The 23-year-old had recently returned from a trip to Borneo and thinks the scorpion, which measures three inches long, must have hopped into her suitcase before she left the island in South East Asia.

Although the predatory arthropod is not deadly, its sting can cause intense inflammation and sickness. They are known to attack humans, so people heading to tropical climes should be sure to protect themselves with medical travel insurance , just in case.

"I opened my eyes and the scorpion was literally a hands length away from my face with its tail raised," Vicky said.

"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."

The stowaway scorpion is currently in the care of the Scottish SPCA's Aberdeenshire rescue centre in Drumoak, although it will soon be on its way exotic animal rescue charity in Inverness run by Nick Martin.

"Asian forest scorpions aren't deadly but if bitten the pain could vary from that of a bee-sting to intense inflammation and sickness," commented Inspector Fiona McKenzie.

"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."