A pilot ordered that his plane remain grounded and not be allowed to fly after it emerged that a tarantula that was being carried in the cargo hold had escaped from its container. The decision meant that all passengers had to evacuate the aircraft while staff carried out a thorough search to find the missing creature and to ensure that no other tarantulas were loose on the plane.
The Delta Airlines flight was carrying some 750 rare African tarantulas as part of its cargo that were being transported to a new facility in Atlanta for study. However, a baggage handler noticed that one of the containers was open and that a baboon tarantula had escaped.
A spokesperson for the airline confirmed that the arachnid had never entered the cabin and was confined to the cargo hold but as a precaution, the captain ordered that the entire plane be searched. This left the passengers having to spend several extra hours in the airport before they could be put on another flight.