Crabzilla’s reign as the biggest crab ever seen in captivity has come to an end today (Feb 15th)…with the arrival of Crab Kong! He is now happily relaxing in a display tank at the Weymouth Sea Life Park in Dorset .
Japanese spider crab Crabzilla caused a sensation when she appeared briefly at Birmingham Sea Life Centre last summer…but with a claw span of over eight feet and weighing around 15 kilos, Crab Kong puts her firmly in the shade.
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.
Crabzilla has already enthralled hundreds of thousands of Sea Life visitors across Europe and is currently at the Sea Life Centre in Scheveningen, Holland .
“Kong is sure to be an even bigger draw,” said Robin, “and giving 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.”