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Latino Daily News

Monday May 23, 2011

Elephant Beetle (It’s SCARY Big) from Costa Rica Comes to Visit U.S. Zoos

Elephant Beetle (It’s SCARY Big) from Costa Rica Comes to Visit U.S. Zoos

Photo: Elephant Beetle of Costa Rica

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The San Antonio Zoo is welcoming a very BIG and scary bug from Costa Rica – the elephant beetle.  You would think the fact this beetle noshes on rotting fruit and oozing tree sap would be enough to put this critter as a Yuk but it’s the size that is unsettling.

The insect common in the rainforest of Costa Rica is coming stateside and is only one of two elephant beetles residing in the country.  The other beetle is in Missouri.  Both animals left their homeland only after Costa Rica’s ministry of agriculture approved.

The beetle is the size of a human palm and in many cases much larger, has a hard shell tinted yellow and weighs several ounces, making it almost ten times the size of other beetles.  The Elephant beetle takes three long years to reach its full size. 

Both U.S. zoos are hoping to start a breeding program here with the blessing of the Costa Rican government.