Volunteer feeds tarantulas for the Butterfly Pavilion

7Everyday Hero Rich Jarboe has given 19-years
Posted at 12:31 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 14:32:02-04
DENVER -- Imagine only going to work for two hours a week. 
That is the work schedule for Rosie the tarantula at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster.
The pavilion is home to 5,000 animals, including 1,600 butterflies and more than 120 Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas. 
The palm-sized spiders may seem creepy to some, but not to volunteer and 7Everyday Hero Rich Jarboe. 
"It is not too strong a statement to say they are harmless," said Jarboe. 
He would know. He is in charge of feeding all the tarantulas.
When visitors are introduced to Rosie the Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula they may only see one or two Rosies.
But there are more than 100 Rosies who rotate shifts so as not to wear them out. 
"No more than one two hour shift once a week," said Jarboe. 
Jarboe feeds each of the 120-plus spiders a grasshopper each week. 
It is a feeding process that takes several hours. 
"It's fun.  Let's face it - if it weren't fun I probably wouldn't be doing it," said Jarboe. 
Jarboe has given his time at the Butterfly Pavilion for 19-years. 
"He also volunteers at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  He is just one of those people who gives everything to his community," Sarah Triplett, lead zoo keeper at the Butterfly Pavilion said.
Jarboe gives his time because he welcomes the chance to educate children and families about science, including the often misunderstood creatures like tarantulas. 
"They have an undeserved bad reputation, mostly from bad movies," laughed Jarboe. 
To learn more about Rosie the tarantula and all the creatures at the Butterfly Pavilion, visit the Pavilion's website here.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.


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