The 13th Floor

This Zoo Wants YOU to Collect Venom From One of the World’s Deadliest Spiders

Did you read our story yesterday about the massive spider plague that’s about to overrun Australia? (I know what you’re thinking… in Australia, “spider plague” is probably just another term for “Tuesday”). Well, it seems a few fearless and/or possibly insane spider-wranglers might benefit from this doomsday scenario — because a zoo in New South Wales has just issued an appeal to any “responsible adults” interested in rounding up specimens of the country’s deadliest spider species.

The funnel-web spider, common to Australia and New Zealand, is one of the world’s most venomous arachnids. While the majority of humans bitten by its large, ultra-sharp fangs eventually recover, the chance of death remains fairly high without the appropriate antivenom… and that’s where this “milking” project comes into play.

According to the Courier Mail, Sydney’s Australian Reptile Park is the only outfit supplying spider and snake venom to Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, which produces antidotes to multiple venomous species for hospitals, clinics and first-aid organizations.

To anyone interested in doing their part by catching and donating live funnel-web spiders for milking, the park produced an instructional video showing how to snare the creatures with as little risk to life and limb as possible.

You know you want to watch this.