Swiss tourists experienced an unexpected twist during their drive in Death Valley National Park, California, last Saturday.
While traveling on CA-190 east of Towne Pass, the couple came across a tarantula crossing the road. In an effort to avoid striking the arachnid, they abruptly applied the brakes on their rented camper van. Unfortunately, a 24-year-old motorcyclist from Canada collided with the back of the camper, according to the National Park Service.
Emergency services transported the motorcyclist to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, and there is currently no information available regarding his condition.
Remarkably, the tarantula, as described by the park service, emerged from the incident unharmed.
Superintendent Mike Reynolds, the first park service official on the scene, urged caution, stating, “Please drive slowly, especially when descending steep hills in the park. Our roads still bear gravel patches from flood damage, and wildlife of various sizes are active.”
The park service emphasized that tarantulas typically spend the majority of their lives in underground burrows. They are frequently sighted in the fall when male tarantulas, aged 8 to 10 years, venture out in search of a mate. After mating, the female may consume the male. Even if she doesn’t, the male tarantula seldom survives for more than a few additional months. In contrast, female tarantulas can live up to 25 years, engaging in multiple mating sessions.
Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantulas are slow-moving and generally nonaggressive. Their bite is comparable to a bee sting and is not lethal to humans.