Rain finally came to Australia in the middle of a, but the wet and warm weather brings with it a new hazard: potentially deadly funnel-web spiders.
The Australian Reptile Park posted a spider warning to Facebook on Tuesday. "Recent wet weather conditions followed by hot days have created perfect conditions for funnel-web spiders to thrive," the park said.
The spindly, fanged crawlers are a specialty for the Australian Reptile Park, which. It earned the name "Colossus."
In slightly better news, there is an antivenom available for people suffering from spider bites. "There are many species of funnel-web spiders in Australia but only male Sydney Funnel-webs have caused human deaths," said the Australian Museum in a spider primer. "There have been only 13 deaths recorded from male Sydney Funnel-webs, but up to 30-40 people are bitten by funnel-web spiders each year."
The park is asking people to bring in captured male funnel-web spiders. The experts there collect the spiders' venom for use in the creation of the life-saving antivenom.
The park's video offers up tips for safely catching the ground-dwelling spiders using a jar and a spoon. You can take the spiders directly to the park in Somersby or deliver them to one of a dozen drop-off sites around Australia. This is an undertaking only for the brave.