Deadly spider found in package shipped in from Australia

A man in the town of Vojens in southern Jutland received quite a shock yesterday when he opened up a shipment from Australia to find a live Redback spider nestled amongst the contents.

An unwanted gift
The man,  who is an employee at the firm EagleBurgmann, immediately contacted Terrariet, the reptile zoo in Vissenbjerg.

“It turned out to be a Redback, the Australian version of the Black Widow,” zoo employee Brian Bentzen told TV2.

The Redback is the deadlier version of the Black Widow spider found in southern Europe. If bitten, the spider’s poison affects the nervous system and can result in fatalities – however, most cases do not require treatment and antivenom is only administered to 2-20 percent of bite victims.

“It is certainly a danger that must be taken seriously. In Australia, 10,000 people are bitten every year – but people are accustomed to it there, so there’s no-one who has died from being bitten,” said Bentzen.

“I’m not afraid of it – but I have respect for it. It is rather slow, so not too difficult to catch.”

The spider will be housed at Terrariet, where it will be the first of its kind at the zoo.