A Sussex family took home more than suntans and souvenirs from their Winter break in Bali.
Estate agents Rory and Isabel Neighbour, from Chichester in West Sussex, discovered that they had unwittingly transported what they believe to be a Chinese Swimming Scorpion home in their suitcase.
They had already been back at their home for a week when Isabel, 33, came across the little creature while hoovering near the shoe cupboard.
“I thought, oh my god what’s that,” she said. “I obviously wasn’t expecting it to be in the cupboard.
“It was moving, it was kind of squirrelling and scuttling around. You could see it was a scorpion.
“I put a pint glass over it, I didn’t want it running around the house. It was a bit scary.”
She said she was lucky she found it before her children – Nico, aged two, and Lucas, aged six – or their pet cat happened to chance upon it.
When her husband Rory got back from work they quickly transferred the scorpion, which measured about seven and a half centimetres in length, into a plastic box for the night – amongst a few leaves and a house spider incase it got hungry.
The Chinese Swimming Scorpion, or Lychas mucronatus, is not deadly but its sting can be painful and the venom injected can cause localised irritation and a burning sensation, according to animalscene.ph.
Isabel believes the family acquired their extra travelling companion in Gili Meno.
The family spent a few days on the island as part of their ‘amazing’ 11-night trip to Bali over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which involved snorkelling with turtles, feeding elephants and visiting monkeys.
After being warned that the ‘tiny, sandy’ island, which has only horses and carts for transport, was home to scorpions, the family wore their beach shoes everywhere – leaving them outside their room every night to keep the sand out.
On the morning they left, as they were rushing to get their boat transfer to Ubud, Isabel stuffed the shoes into a black plastic bag where they remained, likely with the scorpion inside, until they got home.
Luckily, the family were not faced with the dilemma about what to do with their new housemate for very long.
One of Rory’s friends from football, who has an interest in exotic creatures and already owns several tarantulas and snakes, decided to adopt it as a pet.
Isabel said: “I was quite happy it was going to a good home.”