Sydneysiders Asked To Catch Deadly Funnel Web Spiders!
Heatwave conditions across NSW have been stirring some scary creatures - with an increase in funnel-web spider activity that has led to two people being bitten by the spiders in recent weeks.
But while conditions may be perfect for the highly venomous creepy-crawly, authorities say supplies of life-saving funnel-web antivenom are in danger of running low.
Captive spiders are milked of their venom as part of the antivenene manufacturing process at the Central Coast's Australian Reptile Park, which is the only wildlife sanctuary that milks the spiders in the nation.
But keepers say not enough spiders are being handed in by the public, meaning stocks are alarmingly low.
Members of the public are being urged to help save lives by facing their fears and following instructions on the park's website to safely capture the spiders.
"Twenty-sixteen saw the least amount of hand-ins in the park's history, despite good exposure and community awareness," park keeper, Ranger Mick Tate said on Tuesday.
"Should supplies continue to diminish the lifesaving anti-venom program will be in jeopardy," Mr Tate said.
The warning comes after an increase in spider bites being reported in NSW.
A woman asleep in her bed in the Southern Highlands and a Taree resident were bitten in recent weeks, compared with no reported bites in the same period last year.
The Australian Reptile Park said the recent warm humid conditions have encouraged the spiders to be active.
Funnel-web spiders are known for their highly-toxic and fast-acting venom but no deaths have been recorded since the antivenene program was introduced more than 35 years ago.
DROP OFF POINTS FOR FUNNEL-WEBS
Gosford Hospital, weekdays
Vital First Aid, Gosford, weekdays and 9am - 3pm weekends
Wyoming Veterinary Hospital, 24/7
Wyong Hospital, 24/7
Greencross Vets, Brookvale, limited hours seven days a week
Sutherland Hospital, Caringbah, 24/7
Hornsby Hospital, 24/7
Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital, Mon - Sat limited hours
Westmead Public Hospital, weekdays
Hawkesbury City Council, Windsor, weekdays
Australian Reptile Park, Somersby
For more info about drop off points click here
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