(From left) Heather Tuffnail, Cee Alexander rescued an abandoned tarantula recently alongside Alexander’s boyfriend Vic Kathrens. Photo contributed

Two women rescue abandoned tarantula in Airdrie

The tarantula has a new home and Facebook followers

Two Airdrie women have found a friend in each other while saving a tarantula who has found a new home.

Heather Tuffnail first heard of the abandoned tarantula in Airdrie on Facebook Aug. 11. The 34 year old grabbed a container to bring the tarantula home with her.

When she arrived, in the area of where the tarantula was abandoned, she did not see it, but she kept looking especially after finding an abandoned terrarium in the area, which was left open.

“I was looking around for it and it actually approached me and started crawling towards me,” explained Tuffnail.

Then she realized her container was too shallow. Feeling helpless at this point, she decided to ask for help on Facebook.

Cee Alexander, saw Tuffnail’s call for help and ran out of her house, as quickly as she could, with a container in her hand, alongside her boyfriend Vic Kathrens.

“I looked at my boyfriend and said, ‘we got to go now and save this tarantula babe,’ and we grabbed a container and drove over and Heather was already there, she was sitting in the middle of the walking path, trying to protect the tarantula from people passing by,” explained Alexander Monday.

This is when the two women met for the first time with a mission to save the female Brazilian Giant Blonde tarantula.

Alexander had a pet tarantula while she was growing up. Given her experience, the two decided she would take her home and nurse her back to health given the scabs on her back.

“When we picked her up, she was bleeding a lot and had a big gash on her abdomen,” said Alexander, explaining she may have been wounded from birds that were flying around in the area.

Tuffnail explained when she first arrived, she could see signs of neglect, given there was mould growing in the abandoned terrarium that had some hay inside of it.

“As soon as I saw the terrarium, I knew she had been abandoned, I was heartbroken,” said Tuffnail. “I started crying. It was too much to see that blatant style of neglect is just so awful.”

The new mom and aunt were crossing their fingers and hoping the tarantula would make it through the night, given her wounds, but the tarantula made a “miraculously recovery.”

The two decided to name the Brazilian Giant Blonde Tarantula ‘Tuffnail’, given Heather has always wanted to own a tarantula.

“Tuffnail is the perfect name for her, with this miraculously recovery, because now she is tough as nails,” explained Alexander.

The interest in Tuffnail’s story grew by Aug. 12 and everybody wanted to know the fate of the creature, so the duo decided to start a Facebook page for the tarantula. As of Monday afternoon, Tuffnail the Tarantula had over 580 members.


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Two Airdrie women rescued this abandoned tarantula recently. The female Brazilian Giant Blonde Tarantula ‘Tuffnail’ now has a new home and Facebook followers. Photo contributed

Two Airdrie women rescued this abandoned tarantula recently. The female Brazilian Giant Blonde Tarantula ‘Tuffnail’ now has a new home and Facebook followers. Photo contributed

A female Brazilian Giant Blonde Tarantula was abandoned in Airdrie recently. Photo contributed

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