Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Australian zoo calls for spider hunters

Jumping spider peeping behind green leaves

‘Responsible adults’ are required to catch deadly spiders in the name of science.

Funnel-web spiders are one of the world’s most deadly arachnids, with venom powerful enough to kill a human within 15 minutes.

Steering well clear of them would, therefore, seem like a smart idea. But, for those more inclined to live life a little more dangerously, the Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales is appealing to ‘responsible adults’ to collect these spiders so that they can be milked for their venom as part of the park’s anti-venom programme.

Park ranger Mick Tate told The Courier Mail: “We're encouraging residents of NSW to not kill funnel-web spiders that they come across, but rather follow our safety guidelines online to capture the spiders, and hand them in at the park or participating drop-off centre.”

For anyone interested in this rather unconventional hobby, the spiders can often be found in areas with rotting wood, under piles of logs, hidden in rockeries – and even in piles of clothes and towels. The park has also released a video guide that details how the spiders can be caught ‘safely’.

Reader Comments 

Please login or register to submit your own comment