Ella’s spider encounter

Ten-year-old Ella Colwell, from West Bromwich, enjoyed a close encounter with Matty, the Chilean rose tarantula, during a special meet and greet.

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Animal-mad Ella, who has a mini zoo of her own at home, including a corn snake, a cat, tropical fish, guinea pigs and mice, always wanted to get hands-on with a spider, so was introduced to the eight-legged Discovery Centre resident by Presentation Assistant, Amy Hickman.

Sharon Tipton, Ella’s great-aunt, who arranged the visit, said: “Ella was absolutely over the moon to meet Matty. She has always had a great interest in all creatures and had her birthday party at DZG in February, which she absolutely loved.

“After speaking to Amy about the spider and the animals in the Discovery Centre she now wants to study animal care at college and to work with animals when she’s older.”