“I was nervous when I arrived…The callers were really concerned about the public’s safety, so they put a plastic bowl over it and used cones to cordon off the area.” The speaker is a Ms Paula Jones, an animal collection officer for the RSPCA. The callers were members of the public who had spotted a lethal Indian red scorpion on a pavement in Grantham, Lincolnshire. Or was it? It was only when the scorpion tipped onto its back while Ms Jones and a colleague were delicately sliding it into a clear plastic container, that the RSPCA officers realised that far from being confronted by a “deadly-looking” scorpion they were actually dealing with a… plastic toy. “As it fell on its back we thought it was dead, and then we noticed it was actually a plastic toy,” said Ms Jones. Thankfully, the story of the RSPCA officer and the not so deadly plastic toy has a happy ending, as Ms Jones explains: “Cecil the scorpion is now my van buddy and keeps me company on the road,” she said. Not so much a sting in the tail, more like a twist in the tail.
April 19, 2018