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Critter Profile: Boris!



Name: Boris

Species: Grammostola rosea (Chilean Rose Tarantula)

Primary Caretaker: Terrestrial Team, Mortimer Jones

Diet: Small mammals like mice, small birds, and small reptiles, etc. (According to Jones, his favorite treat seems to be snakes! I can't believe it either!)

Housed: Greenhouse 2

Creature Features!

'Boris' is the name for a certain Rose Hair Tarantula that's set up at home here in Oregon! We found this lil' guy after some reports of burnt animal carcasses over in the Tillamook State Forest. Now, I know what you're thinking, "But how is a tarantula that belongs in northern Chile and Argentina doing all the way out here in Oregon?" Well, we actually have no clue. Regardless, Boris is quite the handful, especially with what he's capable of!

We've seen our fair share of weird things here at Wilson's, but Boris definitely stands out! Not only can this otherwise unassuming little critter grow to the size of a basketball, but he also growls and spits fire out like a dragon!

We took a closer look at the webbing that he produces and it seems that its made out of certain chemicals that make it super flammable! Its no wonder those forest fires seem to go out of whack! Boris also eats a whole lot! We can see why he'd eat the bigger critters for sustenance. However, feeding him insects like cockroaches, cicadas, and other small bugs work just as fine too!

EDIT: Don't feed Boris any insects or bugs. He keeps staying away from them and makes these weird noises that sounds like whimpering. We don't know why but, I think its best we just feed him small rodents and lizards from now on.



This was the fire that got us to find Boris. It took both us and the Supervisors to make sure the flames didn't spread too far.

We ran into Boris' shenanigans a few times before his big reveal. People had been complaining of giant spiders, loud noises, and burned animal corpses all around the town. We figured it was from some animal too dangerous for us to handle. Eventually, it all culminated into one big inferno over at Tillamook.

We called up the Supervisors for assistance with the fire, and soon enough, we were side by side putting out flames and saving critters left and right! During the cleanup, Percy found our culprit! He saw a spider spitting fire at a squirrel on a nearby branch. We made our way surrounding the tree that Boris was on. Even though Boris is pretty quick for a spider, we managed to catch him anyway!

After we got him, we tried to help ease him into the enclosure. We had to give him an isolated enclosure from the other smaller animals since there's a good likelihood that Boris would've eaten them if he had the chance.

Special Needs and Accommodations!

There's a small island domicile exclusively for Boris in Greenhouse 2. We decorated the area with fire-resistant plants like Californian Red Buds, Yellow Ice Plants, and Sage, just to name a few. His place is separated from the others using a ditch filled with water that's deep enough that he can't cross over. This makes sure that the other flightless critters stay on the lil' island!

But beyond that, the place is a pretty small island; there isn't too much that's needed for him apart from regular maintenance of the place and feedings. Mortimer says that if Boris starts growling, then it's probably a good idea to stay away from him since any animal bigger than him is pretty much gonna provoke him to grow big and try to scare you off, so if he does that, just slowly walk away.

Notes about Boris!

Gary's asking if we could use Boris' webbing as some weird alternative source of fuel. I mean, we could, but we'd rather not risk upsetting Boris; especially since he's not too friendly with people.

EDIT #1: Well I'll be! It seems Jones somehow got Boris to crawl up his arms and rest on his shoulders now. That's a big improvement from him! However, he's still not as close with the other folks as he is with Jones, but now that he's close with Jones, I'd say this is a step closer to get Boris out of his comfort zone, and into the world!