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Search Underway In Massachusetts For Speedy University Tarantula

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

If you happen to hear our show in or near Lowell, Mass., today, feel free to relax, even doze, as you listen, but do you feel a small tickle anywhere? This week, a tarantula named Aragog, after a spider in the "Harry Potter" books, lammed it out of Professor Rich Hochberg's biology classroom at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell and is still reportedly at large - the spider, not the professor. Aragog was last seen in front of an air-conditioning vent in the classroom where he makes guest appearances in front of biology classes. He began to go wandering.

Rich Hochberg has posted photos of Aragog, who is black and orange and fuzzy. This spider is 4 to 5 inches long, he says, on size and not dangerous. However, it can bite, which is a little like saying the spider is not dangerous but could still sink its fangs into your toes.

Tarantulas can crawl at speeds of up to six-and-a-half inches per second, which might cause you to wonder where's the tarantula going, to Andover, Salem or Tewksbury nearby, to Boston, 23 miles away? Does he yearn to stroll down Broadway on his eight legs, or does Aragog believe that with so many presidential candidates slipping in and out of New Hampshire, a tarantula would blend right in? So far as we know, he's still out there and will be. As Jack Kerouac, another citizen of Lowell, once wrote, but no matter, the road is life. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.