That means if you see an adult tarantula for sale, there is a high chance it has been taken illegally from the wild. A young spider for sale, on the other hand, was likely bred in captivity, explains Ernie Cooper. He investigates stolen wildlife.
Mexico and Brazil both have strict laws that protect spiders. Tarantulas caught in the wild are not allowed to be taken out of the country. Yet many people break these rules. It’s also extremely difficult to catch people in the act.
Stolen spiders are often bred. Then their young can be sold “legally.” This cycle is an ongoing problem, explains Cooper.
Anyone looking to buy a pet tarantula should do his or her research. “Avoid rare species,” says Cooper. “People should always research a species before they buy an exotic animal.”