Scorpion reunion day

2nd February 2018


Today is a big day for Smokey and Bandit – they are being reintroduced to the family group!


The two young Emperor Scorpions came to us along their mum Pandora back in January 2016.  The babies had been born in December and were still tiny.  Bandit had already lost a claw to a bad moult which will never regrow.  Pandora had killed her mate and the rest of the brood so their previous owner felt they had no choice but to separate them.  Emperor Scorpions are naturally social with their own kind and live in family groups in the wild.  Sadly the trio had been living in less than ideal conditions.  Their home had nothing to interact with and only one place to hide.  They didn’t even have enough soil to make a burrow with.

Emperor Scorpions and are often wrongly thought to be desert animal because they come from Africa.  Actually they are far happier in the bush or on the forest floor.  Their former home was very dry and would have made it hard for the babies to survive.


It is likely that Pandora felt threatened and exposed.  She reacted in the only way she knew how to make herself feel safer. 


Pandora was introduced to a new friend called Ebony shortly after arriving and they are now inseparable.  She hasn’t shown and aggression even when surprising us with a very secret pregnancy!  In July last year we had a shock to discover a clutch of pearly white babies riding on her back.  She has been and excellent mum and Ebony has been a very patient dad.

Pandora with her babies - July 2017

Since Smokey and Bandit were so small at the time it was too risky to put them in with Ebony and Pandora.  They could have been seen as food not friends!  Now they have grown it is time for them to go back to the family group and meet their brothers and sisters.  They are still a long way from being adults but boy have they grown in two years.


Emperor Scorpions are a protected species.  They are becoming increasingly rare in the wild due to deforestation and over-collection for the international exotic pet trade.  They are protected by CITES - the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.


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Meet the Owner-Operator, Clare Barnard BSc.(Hons)


Clare is a research scientist and PhD candidate at the University of Lincoln where she is studying wildlife conservation and the direct impact of the exotic pet trade on wild animal populations.  She will be working from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology of Adaptations.  Clare has also been honoured to become part of the Global Amphibian Biodiversity research team.


Clare has almost 20 years professional experience in the husbandry of exotic animals a specialism in the genetics of British herpetofauna.  She has worked with wild Adders (Vipera berus) and endangered Natterjack Toads (Epidalea calamita) under Natural England license conditions.  Clare has worked as a zookeeper and within private collections including her own.  She lives in rural North Warwickshire, on-site at Grace's Rest, with a whole host of animals!

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