An especially inquisitive stowaway has been discovered in a consignment of outdoor equipment imported from Petzl in France. The vicious looking (but fairly harmless) European Praying Mantis was discovered in a box of goods at Lyon Equipment, the UK distributors of Petzl outdoor gear, and has now found a new home at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis. The beautiful adult female mantis, who has been aptly named ‘Miss French’ after the praying mantis monster in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, has settled in very well to her new home – and was happily chomping away at a tasty cricket within moments of arriving at the centre.
Caroline Howard (Assistant Manager):
‘We’re really pleased to have Miss French – who must have been quite a surprise to the people opening the shipment! Many people don’t realise that there are species of praying mantis found in Europe, but Miss French is a European Mantis, Mantis religiosa, an attractive species which can grow up to 7cm long. She’ll be living off display while we make sure she’s fit and healthy and we may see if we can find her a mate from another zoo – although he’ll have to be careful as she’s got a very hearty appetite!’
The mantis arrived in a shipment from the south of France sent to Lyon Equipment Limited’s Tebay warehouse on Tuesday 6th September. On opening the shipment staff were amazed to find the adult female sitting in the pallet with the packages containing climbing equipment; they quickly contacted Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, who were happy to offer the stowaway a good home.