When the scorpion came into the Dewdney Animal Hospital this week, veterinarian Dr. Adrian Walton thought it was one of the less-venomous types, which show up a few times a year.
But an e-mail from the Victoria Bug Zoo late Wednesday told him otherwise, that it was a type of bark scorpion that packed a bit more punch.
“They’re all venomous. The question is how venomous? Right now, this is in the bark scorpion family … which is, basically, one of the more toxic species,” Walton said Thursday.
“So, I’m not comfortable having it here, so I’m going to take it over on the long weekend to Victoria.”
Vancouver resident Gail Hammond found the scorpion in her kitchen May 2 and didn’t know what to do with it. She was referred to the Dewdney Animal Hospital in Maple Ridge and made the long drive to deliver the bug to safekeeping.
That still impressed Walton on Thursday.
“Rather than just squishing it, which is what 90 per cent of people would do … this woman, she captured it … and then was willing to drive all the way from Vancouver to Maple Ridge. To me, that is going above and beyond. I consider her the hero on this one.”
Walton said if people are stung by a bark scorpion, they are more likely to get really sick, have painful swelling and should get medical treatment, and advised that if people are allergic, a sting could be fatal.
“As long as you are careful and willing to go to the hospital if you get stung, the risks of these are relatively low. But why take the risk?
“There is a risk associated with it, no matter what. If you get stung, it’s going to hurt like hell, so don’t get stung.”
People keep scorpions as pets, he added.
He also said scorpions that usually show up at the hospital are Arizona striped scorpions, which are about as toxic as a bee or wasp sting.
But a more serious type of scorpion is the “deathstalker scorpion,” which would deliver a fatal sting if medical attention wasn’t sought.