An Australian zoo has a rather unusual appeal. They are asking for members of the public to help catch one of the world’s deadliest spider species, funnel-web spiders, in order to help replenish stocks of antidote running low.
The Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales urged people in a Facebook appeal to trap funnel-web spiders instead of killing them. While asking the public to capture potentially fatal spiders seems odd, the zoo needs more spiders in order to help replenish stocks of antidote running low, so bite victims can receive the proper treatment.
Experts from the park regularly milk the spiders for their venom, which is then used in the production of antivenoms, but due to the lack of donations last year, the Australian Reptile Park has now reached out to the general public to bring them the spiders they need.
“It’s funnel web season but instead of killing them, we need the public to catch them so they can be a part of our venom-milking program,” officials at the Australian Reptile Park in New South Wales said in a Facebook post.
Head of Conservation and park manager Tim Faulkner demonstrated in the video how to safely catch the spiders using a glass jar and a ruler. “With an appropriate jar and a wooden spoon, you can flick the spider into the jar so easily,” Faulkner said, “We’ve been doing this for 35 years and no one’s been hurt.”