The alarmingly fast spider with a nasty bite is described by the RSPCA as “an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare.”
The enormous Huntsman spider measures a whopping SEVEN INCHES and is easily bigger than any native species. Native to Australia, it has now been found in St Leonards-on-Sea, which is near Hastings, on the South coast of Britain.
Staff at a warehouse of a distribution company were opening a crate from Taiwan when they spotted the monster. Joe Woodburn, the warehouse manager, said: “My mate saw it on the box I was holding. He froze and couldn’t get his words out fast enough. It was as big as the palm of my hand. We managed to get it into a big plastic container where we kept it while we called the RSPCA.”
For a moment Mr Woodburn thought it was a fake or a toy, but soon changed his mind: “I thought it was plastic at first, but the minute it was in the sunlight it started to warm up and it was running around and jumping up the side of the box. We get containers like this all the time and we have always joked that one day we’d open one up to find some kind of ferocious animal in there, but I never expected to find a spider as big as this.”
The RSPCA Inspector was very cautious in dealing with the spider. Zoe Ballard said: “I managed to secure the spider in the container and took it to the RSPCA’s wildlife centre nearby, but I must admit I was worried all the way that it would get out and escape in my van.”
A spokesman for the RSPCA, Inspector Tony Woodley said: “Huntsman spiders can give you a nasty bite, but they aren’t likely to cause too much harm unless you suffer an allergic reaction. However, because they are so big and they run around so quickly, they are probably an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare.”