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Hiking family finds rare Okanagan scorpion

If you know where to look and aren't afraid of invertebrates, you can find scorpions in the Okanagan
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Photo courtesy Bob Shabaga

By Rob Gibson

It's not something you see every day, but if you know where to look and aren't afraid of invertebrates, you can find scorpions in the Okanagan.

Bob Shabaga is a chef and exotic animal breeder who loves nothing more than flipping rocks to see what's under them.

"I like to take my kids, we just like to hike and lift rocks, but you can lift a hundred rocks before you find a scorpion."

Turns out the Northern Scorpion, is the only type found in the Okanagan.

Shabaga says he's not an expert but is an enthusiast, "there's only a few spots in the Okanagan where you can find them."

Photos, including one of Bob's son, Ronin, holding a scorpion were taken at a place called Goat's Peak, located between West Kelowna and Peachland.

"It's family fun with the kids out collecting some of the rarer invertebrates. We catch them, feed them some insects and then release them."  

Shabaga says he and his children have never been stung and he takes precautions before handling the scorpions. "Scorpions are cool and they are nothing to be afraid of."

One more interesting piece of the Okanagan ecology and Shabaga encourages everyone to keep their eyes peeled for scorpions on sunny, south-facing slopes, "enjoy your hikes." 

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