If you've been to The Butterfly Pavillion in the Denver suburb of Westminster, Colorado, there's a good chance you've heard of, seen, or possibly held Rosie the Tarantula.

Meet Colorado's Most Famous Tarantula

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Rosie is an adult female Chilean Rose Hair tarantula that numerous guests at Colorado's Butterfly Pavilion have had the opportunity to meet firsthand.

Chilean Rose Hair tarantulas come from the Atacama Desert in Chile and carry the scientific name Grammostola rosea. They are what is known as a New World species and an especially docile one at that.

The Butterfly Pavillion's goal with Rosie has been to eliminate the stigma of tarantulas being scary and/or pests and to teach children and adults about the conservation of these and other similar animals.

The Life of Colorado's Most Famous Tarantula

It's unclear as to whether or not the Rosie we see today is the same tarantula that debuted at the Butterfly Pavillion back in 1995, but it's entirely possible as many female New World tarantulas can live up to 30 years in captivity, and Rosie just celebrated her 28th birthday this past July.

Rosie did go away for a while due to COVID-19 restrictions, but was ceremoniously brought back on May 28th, 2021 in a celebration called "Rosie Returns."

The act of handling tarantulas is controversial in some circles, but because Rosie is so docile, there's little danger to those who want to hold her. In fact, New World tarantulas rarely bite, and even if they do their venom is mild to humans.

However, Rosie and other New World tarantulas have what are called urticating hairs on their abdomens which they kick into the air with their back legs when they feel threatened. If these hairs make contact with skin, they can be very irritating, but if they make it into one's nose, eyes, or mouth, a trip to the emergency room would definitely be in order.

The Butterfly Pavillion and Rosie are located at 6252 W. 104th Avenue in Westminster, Colorado.

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