Meet Pandora, the 'very special tarantula'

By Kirstin Buick
11 February 2016

Pandora's helping people overcome their fear of spiders. After all, who’s afraid of a tarantula wearing a hat?

Pandora is not just any eight-legged lady. She’s acquired a level of internet fame and has had a string of  saucy photo shoots that would make any aspiring model jealous.

“Pandora is a very special tarantula,” says her proud owner and personal photographer, Cassandra Tainsh (23), from Leeds in England. “She makes quite an impression on her own.”

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It’s easy to believe this because Cassandra was initially terrified of spiders. Just looking at them gave her the shakes.

But four years ago she decided to face her fear. Cassandra went to a sanctuary with the express purpose of holding a tarantula in her hand.

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Her reaction on their first meeting? “Is this all it is? It’s just a woolly thing on my hand.”

Cassandra says her experience has motivated her to help others with similar fears. After all, who’s afraid of a tarantula wearing a hat?

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Fortunately for Cassandra her mother, Penelope, isn’t bothered by her unusual housemates. She’d even tell Cassandra if she came across a “cute” snake somewhere.

Pandora and her 18 tarantula pals aren’t Cassandra’s only unusual friends. They share her house with 23 snakes, seven lizards, five giant snails and a scorpion. Also 12 cats, four dogs and a boyfriend.

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Pandora is the only one of Cassandra’s woolly friends that allows photo shoots.

Sources: YouTube,, facebook/pandoraAnneTarantula,

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