RSPCA officers were called to deal with a “deadly-looking” scorpion in Grantham, only to discover the creature behind the makeshift emergency cordon was a rubber toy.
A concerned woman hastily called the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline after a child had spotted the bright red scorpion on a pavement on Grey Friars in Grantham on March 22.
She had cordoned off the area to keep people safe before RSPCA animal collection officer Paula Jones and her colleague deputy chief inspector Becky Lowe arrived on the scene.
The toy scorpion has since been named Cecil and keeps Paula company on the road.
“I was dealing with another emergency elsewhere but headed over to Grantham as quickly as possible,” Paula said. “Some types of scorpions are highly venomous making them potentially very dangerous.
“The callers were really concerned about the public’s safety so they used cones to cordon off the area and stood out in the street for two hours to ensure no one went near it.
“It was quite funny after we realised it was a child’s toy and wouldn’t be a threat to anyone! But we really appreciate the concern of the woman and the efforts she went to.”
The RSPCA receives a number of calls every year from members of the public who have found spiders, lizards or scorpions.
Anyone who comes across an exotic creature should get in touch with the charity’s 24-hour hotline for advice by calling 0300 1234 999.