Omaha stay-at-home mom shoots to internet fame thanks to her pet CRAB
US mum shoots to internet fame thanks to her pet CRAB Howie, who wears hats, ‘smiles’ and rolls around her house in a HAMSTER BALL
- A Nebraska woman’s pet crab has garnered millions of view on TikTok
- The crab smiles, rolls in a hamster ball and shows of her hat collection
- Her owner says that editing the crab’s videos has become a full-time job
A stay-at-home mom from Nebraska has shot to internet fame thanks to her pet rainbow crab Howie, who she claims can smile and use sign language.
‘I think people just love the way I love her,’ owner Laura Porter told the Omaha World-Herald this week of her crustacean friend. Between TikTok and Instagram, Howie has around 600,000 followers. Her videos achieve viewing figures in the millions.
Porter told the newspaper that editing the videos of Howie are now a full time job. She said that the first video that she made with Howie, showing her cleaning her shell of bacteria with a toothbrush, achieved six million views.
The canny influencer has also stuck an array of hats on Howie in a bid to humanize her, with many arachnophobes saying the clawed sea creature looked too much like a giant spider for their liking.
In a December question and answer session with fans on TikTok, Porter said that she bought Howie at an aquatic pet store in 2016 and that it was her daughter how named the crustacean after America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel, despite the clawed Howie being female.
The family brought Howie, part of a species known as cardisoma armatum which are typically found in the wild in western Africa, into the family after their daughter’s fish died. The family even bought Howie a 55-gallon aquarium to live in.
Laura Porter bought her pet crab Howie for her daughter in 2016, now the crustacean is a social media star
The first video of Howie showed Porter cleaning her shell with a toothbrush, it amassed six million views
Porter said this week ‘the world went crazy’ when she began putting Howie in a hamster ball and let him roll around the house
Porter described teaching Howie how to high five, saying the crab began to do it voluntarily while having her claws petted.
Many of Howie’s thousands of followers refer to the Porter’s cat, Siren, as her ‘frenemy.’ Porter even told the World-Herald that one of the crab’s favorite past times is to pinch the cat.
Porter also said that her beloved pet’s favorite snacks are peanut butter sandwiches and cheese and that she feeds Howie foods with plenty of calories so she can reach ‘maximum health.’
When a fan asks what foods Howie can’t have, Porter said: ‘I avoid chocolate, fruit pits, acidic foods, spicy peppers, and onions.’
In her World-Herald interview, Porter elaborating saying that Howie also enjoys meat loaf. She went on to say that ‘the world went crazy’ when she began putting Howie in a hamster ball and let him roll around the house.
‘I’ve lost count of the time that she’s molted. Howie’s actually reached her species maximum size for her gender,’ Porter told Howie’s followers in December.
Howie out for a walk in his Omaha-neighborhood with her owner
Porter described teaching Howie how to high five, saying the crab began to do it voluntarily while having her claws petted
Porter said that when Howie is scared, the crab will run to her owner and that she enjoys TV
When a fan asks what foods Howie can’t have, Porter said: ‘I avoid chocolate, fruit pits, acidic foods, spicy peppers, and onions’
Howie rolled her hamsterball up to the back door and peered out longingly. She misses playing outside. It needs to hurry up and get warm outside 😭 #howiethecrab #hamsterball #petcrab
Crabs are way more intelligent and capable than anyone realizes. Howie is proof that they can trust, bond, learn, and understand. Feel free to tag scientists, marine biologists, or anyone who needs to see this ❤️ #howiethecrab #crabhighfive #asl #signlanguage #animalintelligence
Molting is the process in which crabs shed their shells and begin to grow another. Howie molts twice a year. Crabs like Howie are prone to shell rot and most to live longer than five years in captivity.
‘They can die from molting. Molting is a very, extremely delicate process where she’s re-growing her mandibles, and her intestines and her stomach lining, and if she doesn’t properly separate from her molt, she will die. The last molt was very successful and I’m so happy,’ Porter added.
Though Porter joked that ‘right before she molts, she gets really crabby.’
Porter told the World-Herald that she taught Howie how to tap her mouth when she’s hungry and that they’re working on more sign language and that the crab ‘tolerates’ the hats that are stuck to her shell with medical tape.
She said that when Howie is scared, the crab will run to her owner and that she enjoys TV.
‘I can pick her up and snuggle her. I can put her on my head. She doesn’t trust anyone else… I’m just doing the best for her to make her as happy and healthy as possible, it’s the right thing to do,’ Porter added.
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