A dog walker was "shocked" to find a tarantula dumped in a bin in a Nottinghamshire park.
The white knee tarantula, which is roughly the size of a hand, was rescue after being discovered in Acorn Avenue, Giltbrook, on 24 April.
The RSPCA said the spider was "carelessly" tossed into the bin along with the broken tank it was kept in.
The woman who made the discovery said the hairy arachnid was clinging to the side of the bin bag.
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The woman, who does not want to be named, said she spotted the tank in the bin when she took her dogs on to the field.
"I was curious so I had a closer look, expecting it to be a mouse, and I was very surprised to see a tarantula in there," she said.
"I went home to my husband and asked him to come and look, he couldn't believe it either.
"It's not something you expect to find in a public bin."
RSPCA inspector Teresa Potter said the charity rarely gets calls like this and so expected to find a "plastic toy" or a "piece of litter".
She took the spider to a specialist vet, who identified it as a white knee tarantula, a species from Brazil which is commonly kept as a pet.
She said: "These tarantulas live in a warm and humid environment in the wild and need the same provided in captivity, to meet their needs and keep them healthy."
A suitable home has been found for the spider.
The tarantula family
- Despite their size and reputation tarantulas are mostly harmless
- The white knee tarantula, found in the bin, can grow up to eight inches (20 cm)
- Their main defence is flicking hairs upwards from their abdomen
- These hairs can cause irritation to eyes and skin
- There about 650 species of Theraphosid, which the tarantula belongs to
- The biggest of which is the Goliath birdeater which is the size of a dinner plate
Source: RSPCA / BBC Earth