Thursday, June 5, 2008

Giant beetle looking for love

A giant beetle with an inch-long horn is looking for love after sneaking into Britain - in a shipment of bananas. The elephant beetle - more at home in the rainforests of Costa Rica - is now fully grown at nearly five inches long. And time is ticking because elephant beetles - an endangered species - live for just four months. The creature arrived in a container shipment of bananas from Costa Rica to London and was handed to Linton Zoo, Cambs, by pest control officers last week. Zoo staff cannot tell his precise age but believe him to be full grown because he has a 4cm-long horn and weighs 35g.
Linton Zoo director Kim Simmons said: "Billy needs to mate. He is showing all the signs and keeps displaying. He bobs up and down on his branch and taps on the ground. "He has been making the most of his new home and emits tiny mating calls. It's like he's saying 'here I am, come get me'." But the hunt for a female elephant beetle has so far drawn a blank.
With news video.

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