Presenter had to call London Zoo to come and collect creature
BBC 6 Music presenter Ben Watt was shocked to find an unusual visitor in the home he shares with musician and partner Tracey Thorn last weekend – a continental scorpion.
The musician and writer, formerly of the band Everything But the Girl, tweeted that his daughter Alfie had come upon the creature, believed to be a yellow-tailed scorpion, in their north London home.
Watt tweeted: “Holy crap! We go away for the day and 16-yr-old daughter finds a flippin’ SCORPION in her BEDROOM. In North London!”
Watt went on to detail how he called experts at London Zoo who collected the scorpion. “Allowed through special gate at Zoo with ‘venomous species’,” he said. “#Scorpgate: Been backstage at Zoo! Identified as ‘Euroscorpius flavicaudis (Euro yello-tailed). Hitched a ride or poss local population!”
London Zoo believe the maroon-coloured scorpion could have accidentally found its way to the UK in a suitcase. It has now been named Sansa after Alfie Watt’s favourite Game of Thrones character who “seems gentle but has a bit of a sting”.
London Zoo’s head of Invertibrates Dave Clarke, who identified the scorpion, said that Watt and his daughter were not at risk from the creature: “Scorpions are the type of invertebrate that tend to cause alarm when found; people automatically fear highly venomous species that are native to much warmer continents and appear as threats in blockbuster films,” he said.
“Although yellow tailed scorpions are capable of stinging, it’s very unusual for them to do so. Their sting is also innocuous, causing hardly any reaction unless a person is specifically allergic to it.”
Despite this, Watt has continued to talk about the scorpion. “Trying to rehearse for upcoming shows this week, but forgetting lyrics and thinking about scorpions,” he tweeted.
He later joked: “Of course we planted the scorpion to get publicity for my tour starting this week.”