Sort by

Back to home page

Behind the scenes

Lair of the Giant Crabs

A big move for giant Japanese spider crabs

How do you transport two large Japanese Spider crabs (three meters claw tip to claw tip!) to their new home in Manchester SEA Life’s new Lair of the Giant Crab exhibit?

Merlin Animal Welfare and Development (MAWD) undertook this gigantic move by combining their expert animal knowledge with external specialists to develop a world-first, high-welfare transport technique for such magnificent animals.

The first step was to develop a bespoke carrier with 1-2-1 Animal Handling Products to ensure the crabs were covered with water when transported, to minimise their stress. But how do you then carefully move a container carrying over a tonne of water?

MAWD worked with Mechanical Services to develop tailor made, rigorously tested lifting equipment that could load and unload the containers from the refrigerated vehicle. The crabs were monitored on their journey from Weymouth and arrived safe and well to a warm reception from the SEA Life Manchester team.

In preparation for their new arrivals, members of the SEA Life team visited MAWD to get acquainted with the leggy crabs and received training to ensure the crabs had continuity in feeding techniques, behaviours and experiences in their new home. It is fabulous to see the Japanese Spider crabs looking settled and being enjoyed by SEA Life guests!

May 2018

Merlin Entertainment