A holidaymaker was forced to call the RSPCA to their High Wycombe home after discovering she had brought a scorpion home in her suitcase following a trip to Mexico.

The unsuspecting traveller found the stowaway scorpion – which has a highly painful sting – hidden in a suitcase when returning home from the 5,400-mile trip.

The woman, who lives in Wellesbourne Crescent, called in the animal welfare charity after carefully containing the tiny critter, which is just 2cm long.

The scorpion is believed to come from the Vaejovidae family and, although very small, can cause a highly painful sting.

Bucks Free Press:

It was later picked up by RSPCA inspector Rachel Smith, who took the arachnid to a specialist exotic pet centre in Hertfordshire.

Inspector Smith said: “The scorpion’s legs and pincers are all intact and it is remarkably unscathed given that it has travelled thousands of miles in a tightly-packed suitcase.

"It was so small that it is very lucky to have been spotted - it could very easily have been missed.

“The woman who found the scorpion did the right thing by safely containing the scorpion without picking it up. Fortunately no one was stung and this scorpion will now be cared for by experts.

“This is just a timely reminder to people to always check your clothes, towels and shoes properly when packing to return home from a trip abroad, as you never quite know what surprising souvenir you might bring home with you.”

To help the RSPCA look after and rescue animals, text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message) or visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.