‘Oh my goodness, we have a scorpion’: Vancouver woman finds venomous creature on kitchen floor

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Vancouver woman finds scorpion in her kitchen
A Vancouver woman was shocked to discover a scorpion in her kitchen that a Maple Ridge veterinarian later found out is a venomous creature found in the Caribbean. Catherine Urquhart reports – May 9, 2019

A Vancouver woman found herself with an unusual houseguest last Thursday.

Gail Hammond said she was washing dishes when she saw something near her feet that she thought was a fridge magnet.

A longtime fan of the rock band Scorpions, she wasn’t initially bothered by its pincers and curved stinger.

Then it started moving.

WATCH: (Aired Oct. 27, 2016) Woman stung by scorpion in Coal Harbour

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Woman stung by scorpion in Coal Harbour

“I guess it got spooked and it went under the fridge, and that’s when I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, we have a scorpion. A live scorpion,'” Hammond told Global News Wednesday.

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Hammond and her daughter managed to move the fridge and trap the scorpion under a plastic bin, which was given air holes to keep the creature alive along with some water.

Unsure what to do, Hammond started researching.

An exterminator offered to spray the scorpion and dispose of it for $100, but that didn’t feel right.

“I phoned the SPCA and they turned me on to the Dewdney Animal Hospital,” Hammond said. So she took a drive to Maple Ridge.

The hospital posted a video Wednesday highlighting their latest exotic discovery, which was kept for observation.

“Scorpions come through here maybe once or twice a year,” veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton said, but those are usually of a striped variety, commonly found in the southern U.S. and Mexico.

Walton found that the creature is a pregnant female who could give birth within three to four months.

He sent video of the scorpion to the Victoria Bug Zoo, whose staff have helped him identify creatures before.

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“They came back to me this afternoon and said, ‘Oh by the way, it’s actually a [Heteroctenus junceus or red] scorpion, and it’s incredibly dangerous,” Walton said.

Red scorpions are typically found in the Caribbean. While their venom hasn’t been known to kill anyone except in rare cases, it can still cause severe pain in humans.

Walton said the scorpion will now be sent to the Victoria Bug Zoo, which will determine where it ends up next. He just knows it can’t stay in his hospital.

“I have a five-year-old son and lots of staff here, and their safety is paramount,” he said.

Hammond still isn’t sure exactly where the scorpion could have come from. She returned from a trip to Cuba three weeks ago and wondered whether it stowed away in her luggage.

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WATCH: (Aired April 12, 2017) Man stung by apparent scorpion after it falls from overhead bin

Click to play video: 'Man stung by apparent scorpion after it falls from overhead bin'
Man stung by apparent scorpion after it falls from overhead bin

“It could have come from Costco too,” she said. “I’m told they can come in produce or plants. Cuba is more likely, though.”

The less dangerous northern scorpion has been found in the Okanagan and drier parts of Alberta and Saskatchewan, and some have made their way to Vancouver before.

A woman said she was stung while sleeping in her Coal Harbour apartment in 2016. That scorpion was killed quickly.

Hammond is a “hero” for not immediately killing this creature, Walton said.

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“She was willing to drive out here from downtown Vancouver to Maple Ridge to save a bug,” he laughed. “I give major kudos to her, because not many people would go that extra distance.”

As for Hammond, she’s just glad the pregnant scorpion was caught in time.

“I’m glad we won’t have a bunch of little scorpions running around the house,” she said with a laugh.

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