An Australian zoo has a new addition that’s getting mega-attention: a “megaspider” that measures three inches from foot to foot, with fangs that are nearly an inch long.
Officials at the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby, New South Wales, say the arachnid is the largest funnel-web spider the park has ever seen. Its jaws are reportedly so strong they can pierce human fingernails.
An anonymous donor apparently gifted the spider to the park, where it is now being used in an antivenom program. Officials say they hope the donor comes forward and helps lead them to other large spiders.
“She is unusually large, and if we can get the public to hand in more spiders like her, it will only result in more lives being saved due to the huge amount of venom they can produce,” Michael Tate, the park’s education officer, told CNN.
“We are really keen to find out where she came from in hopes to find more MASSIVE spiders like her.”
The park said it will “milk” the spider’s venom and send it to a pharmaceutical company in Melbourne that will turn it into antivenom.
The park estimates that its antivenom program saves up to 300 lives per year.