Spider Ship Turned Away from Guam

The island of Guam is visited by tourists including cruise passengers. But authorities in the tropical U.S. territory said no this week to a visitor of a different sort – thousands of spiders.

A cargo ship trying to call at the Western Pacific island was turned away after thousands of spiders were discovered in the cargo hold, The Associated Press reports.

The Guam Department of Agriculture said there were hundreds of large spiders and thousands of smaller ones. They were discovered by port workers unloading building supplies from the ship, the Liberian-flagged M.V. Altavia.

The ship had last been ported in South Korea. It was anchored in the Guam harbor and not allowed to dock. The unloaded cargo was returned.

Guam authorities said sure, they have spiders on the island, but not this type.

"When you get this many from this many various sizes, it's definitely an infestation," said Department of Agriculture Director Joseph Torres, tells AP.

There were concerns if the spiders did get onto the island they could damage the environment.

"It's not on Guam," Torres said. "We don't want it here."

The island's tourist calling cards include its beaches and abundant marine life.

Photo, Shalom Kao,
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