While a plate piled high with hairy, palm-sized tarantulas is the stuff of nightmares for some, these garlic fried spiders are a coveted treat in Cambodia, where the only fear is that they may soon vanish due to deforestation and unchecked hunting.
Taking a bite out of traditional snack known as "aping" has become a popular photo-op for squealing tourists who pass through Skuon, nicknamed "Spiderville." Locals used to source the spiders from nearby forests, where hunters dug them out of burrows dotting the jungle floor.
But those trees have since been razed for cashew nut plantations, forcing vendors to rely on middlemen to procure the spiders. That has jacked up the price of the tarantulas to $1 a piece, a nearly tenfold spike over the past decade.
For now the price surge is helping line the pockets of vendors who can unload several hundred spiders a day, but they fear that stocks are running low and will kill their businesses in the long-term.
squeal：動詞，發出長而尖的叫聲。例句：People always squeal with fear at the sight of cockroaches.（人們看到蟑螂時，總是害怕得尖叫。）
middleman：名詞，掮客；調解人。例句：Vendors hate to be taken advantage of by the middlemen.（攤商憎恨被掮客佔便宜。）