Everybody panic! According to a flyer posted in South Slope, a Mexican Red Rump tarantula named Penelope escaped from her home this week and is now creeping around somewhere. Oh, and the smallish monster is supposedly pregnant, which means that Brooklyn is going to be overrun by her terrifying spawn unless somebody does something very quickly.
Penelope's owner claims that she is "mostly harmless," though it's difficult to trust someone who chooses to live with a tarantula (or multiple tarantulas, since Penelope probably didn't get knocked up on her own, unless spiders are somehow capable of that). This person has asked any unlucky souls who come across Penelope to "try to catch her and put her in a tupperware bowl with a few holes on the top for air. Then please call me and I will come get her."
More information from the sign: "She's mostly active at night and likes to hide in dark corners. She shouldn't bite [ed: emphasis ours], but sometimes jumps when frightened." Who will jump higher when someone does spot Penelope — the human, or Penelope herself? We'll find out soon enough — or maybe we won't. Calls to the number listed on the flyer are going unanswered, which is a little suspicious. And on Medium, Alastair Coote points out that the photo featured on the sign happens to be the first result of a Google image search for "Mexican Red Rump tarantula." While it's possible that Penelope's owner just never bothered to take a good picture of her, it's also possible that, as Coote seems to think, the person who made the flyer has never owned a tarantula and we all just got played. Until there's a definitive answer, it's still probably a good idea for everyone in South Slope to keep their eyes out for enormous spiders. Better safe than sorry.
This post has been updated throughout.