'The Rock' Of Funnel Web Spiders Is The Stuff Of Nightmares
This funnel-web spider is so big there was only one name it could be given.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, the biggest funnel-web spider the Australian Reptile Park has seen this season, was named after the beefed-up movie star due to its sheer size.
The aptly-named arachnid was handed in to the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle by a member of the public for the park's antivenom program.
The Australian Reptile Park is the only facility in the country that milks funnel-web spiders to create life-saving antivenom for hospitals.
Each year, the program saves up to 300 lives.
The park put a call out in January for the public to safely catch funnel-web spiders for the antivenom program and has received a number of donations from the community.
But none quite so big as Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.
Liz Gabriel, Director of the Australian Reptile Park, said his "unusually large" size will mean the spider can produce more venom than the average spider.
“Having Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as part of the venom program is so amazing because he will save a lot of lives with the venom he will produce," she said.
Because of his gigantic stature, keepers are keen to find which suburb the spider came from in the hopes more of his size will be found.
The park relies on the public for donations of funnel-web spiders to keep its antivenom program going. Spiders are milked weekly, with the venom sent to Seqirus, a vaccination company in Melbourne, to then be made into antivenom.
“People can bring any collected spiders to the Reptile Park itself," Gabriel said.
"However, if they can’t get to us, we have drop off zones around Sydney, the Central Coast and Newcastle and all facilities are provided with a spider safety kit to house the spiders until the Australian Reptile Park staff can come and pick them up each week.”
The park also reminded the public to brush up on the correct first aid for spider bites. Spider First Aid can be found here.
Drop off points include:
Sydney: Westmead Hospital, Sutherland Hospital, Hornsby Hospital, Brookvale Greencross Vets, Mona Vale Veterinary Hospital, Hawkesbury City Council, Symbio Wildlife Park.
Central Coast: Australian Reptile Hospital, Gosford Hospital, Wyong Hospital, Wyoming Veterinary Hospital.
Newcastle: John Hunter Hospital.
Image: Getty/Australian Reptile Park