Tarantula 'Walked Away Unscathed' After Causing Collision in California's Death Valley National Park

A man was injured after his motorcycle hit a moving camper that abruptly stopped to avoid a tarantula in the California park

<p>Getty</p> A tarantula walks in Death Valley California National Park.


A tarantula walks in Death Valley California National Park.

A tarantula was the culprit in a traffic accident Saturday in California’s Death Valley National Park, resulting in a motorcyclist being hospitalized.

The National Park Service (NPS) said in a news release that a rented camper van carrying a Swiss couple suddenly stopped to avoid hitting a tarantula while crossing CA-190 east of Towne Pass in the park.

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A 24-year-old Canadian man on a motorcycle crashed into the rear of the camper van, per the statement. An NPS ambulance took the injured motorcyclist to Desert View Hospital in Pahrump, per officials.

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The NPS statement noted that the tarantula "walked away unscathed" from the collision.

NPS superintendent Mike Reynolds said, per the news release: “Please drive slowly, especially going down steep hills in the park. Our roads still have gravel patches due to flood damage, and wildlife of all sizes are out.”

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The NPS further said that tarantulas are slow-moving and nonaggressive, adding their bite is likened to a bee sting and is not deadly to humans.

According to National Geographic, tarantulas on average measures 4.75 inches in length and have a lifespan of up to 30 years. Their main prey is insects, but they can also hunt for frogs, toads and mice.

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“Tarantulas spend most of their long lives in underground burrows,” said the NPS. “People see them most often in the fall, when 8- to 10-year-old male tarantulas leave their burrows to search for a mate. The female sometimes kills and eats him after mating. Even if she doesn’t kill him, the male tarantula rarely lives more than a few more months. However, female tarantulas can live for 25 years, mating multiple times.”

PEOPLE reached out to the NPS for additional information about the incident and Desert View Hospital for the injured motorcyclist’s condition. 

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