The Joro spider is all anyone seems to be talking about in Connecticut. The venomous spider is an invasive species from Asia also known as Trichonephila clavata. There is growing concern over when they will arrive in Connecticut and what it will mean for all of us.

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Just this week we were inundated with news stories about this spider and so much of the hype created fear in the Nutmeg State. We wanted answers so the I-95 Morning Show reached out to our animal/wildlife correspondent Jen "The Zookeeper" Kotkin for more. We spoke to Jen on Friday (6/7/24) and these are the highlights.

Lou: What about this Joro Spider, it seems the entire State of Connecticut is terrified?

Jen: "Yeah, these spiders have been around for a long time. They are not trying to hunt down people like you see in movies. They are big suckers but that is what they are there for, they're there to keep the insect population down and all spiders float around on webs. That is how they get around, didn't anyone see "Charlotte's Web?" That is how they move. That is exactly what they do to get from place to place so we don't have to worry about them. Most spiders have venom but really it's not toxic enough to hurt a person. There are some spiders that are highly toxic that can, it's equal to a bee or a wasp sting so that hurts. If your immunocompromised or you're young or elderly you tend to have a more severe reaction with these bites as well but this spider, he's fine. We have so many invasive species now it's hard to keep track so just be aware of your surroundings with all wildlife. Don't piss them off and they won't retaliate."

According to a recent WFSB report, the Joro spider is not likely to be in Connecticut until 2029 and Gale Ridge of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station says:

They’re venom is not lethal to people.

RECAP:

Don't worry, you're good.

More on Jen "The Zookeeper" Kotkin:

Jen the Zookeeper
Jen the Zookeeper
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Jen has been immersed in the conservation & science education field for over 30 years. While working as Director of Animal Care for The New Canaan Nature Center in Connecticut, she was responsible for the care of native wildlife and birds of prey, while teaching the public about the roles of these wild neighbors. While with the Bronx Zoo and Los Angeles Zoo, Jen’s main priority was the care of exotic hoof stock, again while teaching the public about the delicate balance of humans & habitats. While working with a wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, CA, Jen played a major role in the wildlife training and handling of some 50 exotic species. Her major focus was creating curriculum for a variety of programs including at-risk and foster youth programming. These programs encompassed helping fragile children gain a sense of trust and worth while developing a healing relationship with the non releasable wildlife at the sanctuary.

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