A stowaway spider has been given a more suitable home after being found in a shipment of bananas.

A South American tarantula was discovered within a shipment of bananas delivered to a food store in the Horsham area.

RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley collected the three inch arachnid on Thursday after it was handed in at a local veterinary surgery before taking it to Drusillas where it will now set up a new home.

It’s the second time in less than a year that the zoo near Alfriston has taken on an eight-legged escapee after a giant huntsman was rehomed after travelling from Taiwan to St Leonards in a shipping container of BMX parts.

The park’s spider expert Angela Hale said: “It is always very exciting to have a tarantula brought in by the RSPCA.

“We had the arachnid identified by Dr Stuart Longhorn of the British Tarantula Society, one of the world’s leading taxonomists and experts on South American tarantulas.

“He confirmed the tarantula was a fully grown dwarf species known as Peruvian Green Velvet which lives in scrubland and is extremely docile.”

RSPCA Inspector Tony Woodley added: “We were not entirely sure at first which country the spider had come from but it was in very good condition.

“I’m delighted that Drusillas could once again take the spider, which is one of the more difficult animals to find a home for.”