Image source: YouTube
There are so many remarkable things about this story. Where to begin?
Let's start with the Colorado State University Entomology Department. Whitney Cranshaw, who is a CSU Extension Specialist, created a yearly contest to find the largest cat-faced spider. Ever heard of them? Me neither. Why this spider? Crenshaw told 9News-Denver that they are "one of the largest ones, one of the odder looking ones, and one that people might see often". They are also similar to the type of spider in the Charlotte's Web story.
Again, this is a yearly contest so they have had people find them and bring them in for what Crenshaw told 9News-Denver is "a trophy and a fabulous prize." And I'm delighted to tell you that they have a winner for this year! According to 9News-Denver, the winner is 9-year-old Raya Davis-Thompson who found the four ounce spider in her backyard. Let that soak in for a moment. A 9-year-old girl found this huge spider in her backyard, gathered it up, and delivered it to CSU for the competition. That's AWESOME! Crenshaw says that Raya's spider is 25% bigger than any other spider that has ever entered her annual competition. As as result, Raya wins the competition and had the spider named after her. The behemoth spider is now known as "Princess Raya."
I'm not afraid of spiders, but I can't say that I'm a fan of them either. You won't find me in the backyard rootin' around looking for them no matter how large the trophy or how fabulous the prize. But, I'm certain Raya is super-psyched about winning the big prize with her big spider.
News source: 9News-Denver