X

Woman Shares Home with 1,500 Pet Tarantulas

Most people get chills down their spine at the simple thought of a tarantula, but one Indonesian woman literally can’t get enough of them. 28-year old Ming Cu has been collecting tarantulas since 2010, and she now has 1,500 of them living in her home.

Ming Cu’s obsession with tarantulas began 7 years ago, when she spotted a beautifully-colored tarantula in her yard, in Bandung City, Indonesia. She only took some photos of it, but the more she looked at the pictures, the more fascinated she became with the eight-legged creatures, and it wasn’t long before she started looking online for people selling tarantulas. She bought one, than another, and before she knew it, Ming was hooked. Over the past seven years she has spent over $55,000 on tarantulas, and now has 1,500 of them living in a special room in her home.

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

When she first told her parents that she wanted to keep tarantulas in the family home, they both freaked out, thinking that they were dangerous. They wouldn’t even hear of it in the beginning, but then Ming Cu bought some books on tarantulas and educated herself on how to raise and breed them, as well as how to protect herself and make sure they didn’t escape their enclosures. When her parents saw how passionate she was about the spiders, they gave in and and allowed her to keep them in the house. “They’re still scared, but it’s reasonable,” Ming told Kompas. “Luckily they are not paranoid.”

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

The 28-year-old spider enthusiasts keeps her furry pets in jars and glass terrariums which take up a whole room.  Her collection includes all kinds of tarantula species, some native to Indonesia, and others imported from all over the world. But there are still two rare varieties that she hopes will one day complete her collection – Trigmopoeus psychedelicus, from India, and Harpactira pulchripes, from Africa

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

As you can imagine, taking care of 1,500 tarantulas is a full time job. Ming Cu told Indonesian media that she spends around 10 hours every day feeding them, making sure that they have enough enough water and checking if they are all healthy. Luckily for her, she has been able to turn her passion into a business, so she doesn’t have to do it all in her free time.

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

Learning how to breed tarantulas proved a difficult task in the beginning, and Ming claims that she had to repeatedly buy new males, because the female tarantulas would kill and eat them. But she got the hang of it eventually, and she’s been able to produce new specimens for sale to other tarantula enthusiasts. She doesn’t sell any specimens from her private collection, though.

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

Ming Cu started selling tarantulas in 2012. At first, she only dealt with local clients, but after advertising online, she started getting orders from abroad, as well, and now has clients in countries like the UK, Sweden, Germany and Poland. If you’re interested, check out her website, spiderloverpetshop.com.

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

In the 7 years that she has been raising spiders, Ming Cu claims to have only been bitten 14 times. Some were more serious than others, depending on what species of tarantula had done the biting. The ones from the least venomous specimens didn’t hurt too bad, and only required a bit of ice to reduce the swelling. The highly-venomous ones were a whole different story though. They involved visits to the hospital, sudden chills, fever and sleepless nights.

Photo: Ming Cu/Facebook

But despite these few unpleasant experiences, Ming Cu says she never considered giving up on her passion. “You just have to be careful,” she says. “But tarantulas are not to be feared, they are much less dangerous than snakes. Even though some of them bit me, I still care about them.”

In the tarantula enthusiast community, Ming Cu is known as “Queen Tarantula”, a nickname that she doesn’t mind at all. In fact, she’s quite proud of it.

Posted in Animals        Tags: , , , , ,