Australian Reptile Park Issue Call for Spider Collectors

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 9, 2021 8:30 am

funnel web spider Australian reptile park

A Sydney funnel-web spider at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park is encouraging Australians to become spider catchers to supply a lifesaving program which creates anti-venom. This anti-venom can be used in the event someone is bitten by a spider to potentially save their life. Since the antivenom was developed in 1981 no one has died from a Sydney funnel-web spider bite.

Unfortunately this year the number of spiders being brought to the park is at an all time low. Luckily in recent weeks the numbers have begun to increase indicating that the spiders are on the move. Australian Reptile Park keepers are hoping that the public appeal will help replenish their stocks.

Australian Reptile Park keepers show how to safely catch a funnel-web

Video Credit: Australian Reptile Park

If you are an Australian looking to help the Australian Reptile Park have created videos showing how to safely catch a funnel-web. You can then deliver it to the Australian Reptile Park or to another drop off location around Sydney.

Sydney funnel-web spiders are often found in residential areas around New South Wales.

Reptile and Spider Keeper, Jake Meney explained, “If you are an adult and feel safe to do so, please catch the funnel webs using a big glass jar and keeping your hands away from the spider, coax the spider into the jar and bring it to us or one of our drop-off points – you will literally be helping us save lives. We have videos on our website, Facebook page and YouTube channel showing people how to safely catch funnel web spiders and the list for drop off points can be found on our website.”

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To highlight the importance of the need for funnel web spiders, Meney, comments “The Australian Reptile Park is the only place in Australia that milks funnel web spider venom to make into antivenom. Before the antivenom was developed 33 years ago, there were 13 recorded deaths in NSW by funnel-webs, but there have been zero fatalities since the development of the antivenom in 1981.

 

“Summer is funnel web season, so now is the time people will be seeing funnel webs more and more” noted Meney. “We need to public to assist us with bringing funnel web spiders to the Australian Reptile Park,” he continued.

funnel web spider Australian reptile park

A Sydney funnel-web spider at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

It is also important Australians know the correct first aid treatment for a funnel web spider bite, as this can be what ultimately saves the victims life. If a member of the public was to be bitten by a funnel-web spider, Meney says “Stay as calm as possible and apply the correct first aid, which is a pressure immobilisation bandage and get to hospital as fast as you possibly can.”

Each day at the Australian Reptile keepers milk the funnel-web spiders to obtain their venom which is sent to Seqirus in Melbourne to be turned in to life-saving anti-venom. Lucky visitors may see the process taking place.

funnel web spider Australian reptile park

A Sydney funnel-web spider at the Australian Reptile Park

Photo Credit: Australian Reptile Park

Learn more about the Australian Reptile Park on their website – Australian Reptile Park

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