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15 February 2011, 10:40 | Updated: 1 March 2011, 17:42
Weymouth Sea Life Park welcomes its newest addition today as 'Crab Kong' arrives.
With a claw span of over eight feet and weighing around 15 kilos, Crab Kong could be one of the largest crabs in captivity.
Caught by local fisherman from the small coastal village of Heda in Suruga Bay, southwest of Tokyo, instead of going to market, he was shipped off to the UK. Sea Life biologist Robin James had visited Heda only a few weeks earlier and the fishermen knew he would be interested.
Soon Kong is destined for centre-stage in a new display at the Sea Life centre in Munich…but UK wildlife fans can see him at the Weymouth Sea Life Park before he goes. He will join a variety of British sea fish including rays and gurnards in an icy cold Sandy Seabed display.
“Getting in an animal as impressive as Crab Kong is the aquarium equivalent of signing Ronaldo,” said Robin.
“Kong will give people a chance to witness first hand one of the many wonders of the deep oceans helps boost support for marine conservation.”
In the wild Japanese spider crabs can achieve a leg-span of over 12 feet… big enough to straddle a car. They can weigh as much as 19 kilos (41 lbs).
“These crabs are believed capable of living to be 100-years-old,” said Robin. “We think Kong is between 30 and 40-years-old.”