A giant male funnel web nicknamed “Big Boy” has been handed into the John Hunter Hospital for collection, sparking calls from the Australian Reptile Park for more drop offs for its venom program.
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Big Boy was found in Newcastle, measures up to 7.5 cm in spread, and is thought to be the biggest ever male funnel-web spider handed into the Hospital.
The spider will be milked for the sole purpose of protecting humans from funnel-web bites. The Australian Reptile Park venom program saves up to an estimated 300 lives per year.
Only male spiders can be milked for anti-venom, and January to March is the time when males are most active.
Australian Reptile Park encourage people to hand them in at the park, or to participating hospital drop off centres within this peak season.
Funnel-web spiders can be aggressive, and are often found in sheltered, shady spots, which are always cool, humid and often damp.
Drop off zones around the region include Australian Reptile Park, John Hunter Hospital, Gosford Hospital, Wyong Hospital, and Wyoming Veterinary Hospital.