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Motorcyclist taken to hospital after tarantula crossing the road causes collision in California

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A tarantula crossing the road caused a collision that left a motorcyclist in hospital in California.

Two tourists, from Switzerland, braked abruptly to avoid killing the spider after seeing it crossing state route 190 in the Death Valley National Park on Saturday.

A 24-year-old Canadian man on a motorbike then crashed into the back of the couple’s rented camper van, the National Park Service (NPS) said in a statement.

“The spider walked away unscathed,” the NPS added.

The motorcyclist was taken to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, Nevada, for treatment. His condition was not known.

NPS Superintendent Mike Reynolds, who was the first to reach the scene of the crash, urged the public to “drive slowly, especially going down steep hills in the park”.

A view shows the monsoonal rain flooded in Death Valley National Park, California, U.S., August 5, 2022 in this screengrab obtained from a video. Courtesy of John Sirlin/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT
Image:
Flood damage in Death Valley National Park

“Our roads still have gravel patches due to flood damage, and wildlife of all sizes are out”, he said.

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Most of the park’s roads remain closed after flash flooding was caused during Storm Hilary in August.

The NPS warned that tarantulas are most commonly spotted in the autumn, when the males leave their burrows in search of a mate.

A bite by a tarantula has been reported to feel similar to a bee sting and is not deadly to humans.

The incident is not the first of its kind involving tourists in America’s national parks this year.

In July, a 47-year-old woman from Phoenix suffered “significant injuries to her chest and abdomen” after being bitten by a bison at Yellowstone National Park.

In the same month, an eight-year-old was attacked by a cougar and suffered minor injuries in Olympic National Park, Washington state.

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