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"Dangerous" scorpion bites the dust

PUBLISHED: 17:17 06 October 2010 | UPDATED: 19:06 06 October 2010

Richard Marks & Scorpion

Richard Marks & Scorpion

Archant

A POTENTIALLY deadly scorpion has been found roaming among paving slabs in Havering.

The poisonous creature was found by chance by an Emerson Park resident on Tuesday this week when sorting through the slabs she had imported from India.

The woman - who had no idea of the danger she could have been in - luckily managed to capture the venomous creepy crawly unscathed to take it in a Tupperware box to a vet who could identify it.

Richard Marks, head vet at Goddard Vets, in Balgores Lane, Gidea Park, said it was a Common Yellow Scorpion (also known as a Buthus occitanus israelis) which can derive from the Middle East, Africa or Europe. Those originating from Africa are the most dangerous.

Mr Marks said: “It could kill a kid if it stung them. Adults could die as well if they suffer an anaphylactic shock.”

“It could even sting through gardening gloves.”

He said he couldn’t be sure if the 12cm-long creature, which held around 0.5ml of poison in its tail, was one of the African ones but said it was still lethal and “the most dangerous creature” he’d ever come across “in Havering, the UK, anywhere” apart from in a zoo.

Mr Marks said: “Though these paving slabs came from India, a lot of Indian flights stop off in the Middle East so there could have been a Middle Eastern pick-up on the way back to the UK.”

“Out of the 1,000 species of scorpion in the world only 50 are considered dangerous to man. It’s pretty bad luck to get a dangerous one turn up in some bricks!

“It was lucky it didn’t crawl away.”

He said: “When we looked at it, it went straight into an aggressive posture with its sting up ready to go. Basically if you had put your finger in then that would have been it.”

Mr Marks called Environmental Health to ask their advice and was told to kill it so he froze it and preserved the dead specimen in a formula which he has kept at the veterinary practice.

He added: “It’s a shame really after it managed to get all this way.”

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