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Hattiesburg Zoo to host retirement party for popular Chilean rose-haired tarantula on Sunday

Chilean rose-haired tarantula
Leggs the Chilean rose-haired tarantula (Photo courtesy of the Hattiesburg Zoo)

A fan-favorite at the Hattiesburg Zoo is retiring from attending events and community gatherings across the Pine Belt area.

Zoo officials announced on Friday that a special retirement party will be held for Leggs, a Chilean rose-haired tarantula on Sunday at 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Asbury Discovery Building and the public is invited to celebrate the impact the tarantula has had on the community.

Leggs, a female spider, has made guest appearances at birthday parties, schools, libraries, museums, nursing homes, and multiple events across the Hattiesburg area. With the assistance of her animal care and education staff co-workers, Leggs has helped educate thousands of children and adults about spiders and arachnids.

Zoo staff and experts have used the tarantula to remove the stigma behind the presence of spiders while educating the public about the important role the arachnids play on our planet. According to staffers, Leggs’ calm, easygoing personality has helped put people around her at ease and allowed them to see spiders in a new and positive light.

Leggs is joining the Hattiesburg Zoo’s long-tailed chinchilla “Mae” and ferrets “Finley” and “Possum” in the facility’s animal ambassador retirement program. With female tarantulas living up to 20 years, officials decided to give Leggs, who is believed to be 14 or 15 years old, a chance to live the remainder of her life enjoying the peace and quiet with her animal care team.

The Hattiesburg Zoo’s operating hours and ticket prices can be found here.

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