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Australian Reptile Park urges public to catch deadly spiders - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Australian Reptile Park urges public to catch deadly spiders

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It's milking time at the Australian Reptile Park and the park is urging members of the public to catch deadly funnel-web spiders and bring them to the park. 

The request is designed to help replenish low antidote stocks.

The delivered spiders will be milked to produce antidote as the country's anti-venom program is now at risk after 2016 saw an all-time low for funnel-web hand-ins since the program's creation 35 years ago.

"Now what we do is gently stroke the spider, or aggravate it a little bit. What happens there, the venom accumulates on the end of the fangs in little drops. We don't want it to shake and shake off that venom, but from here, we touch the end of the fangs with the glass pipette and the venom sucks up, and that's it, right there," explained Tim Faulkner, Australian Reptile Park Manager.

This fall in anti-venom supplies comes at a time when heatwave conditions in the southeast of the country are encouraging more arachnid activity and bites.

Australia has had two funnel-web attacks in two weeks, including one woman who was bitten by a spider while she was asleep.

Faulkner said as long as people follow precautions, catching venomous spiders is safe.
 

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