Insight & Analysis

Australian zoo calls for spider hunters

Published: Jan 2017

‘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’.

All our content is free, just register below

As we move to a new and improved digital platform all users need to create a new account. This is very simple and should only take a moment.

Already have an account? Sign In

Already a member? Sign In

This website uses cookies and asks for your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).