BRACE yourself Sydney — some of the world’s most venomous creatures are about to go bananas in your backyard.
Experts warned yesterday that spring’s warm beginning and recent
heavy rain had combined to provide the perfect trigger for dangerous
snakes and spiders to thrive.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo invertebrate keeper Julie Grizia said humans
were doubly likely to come into contact with species like the deadly
funnel web spider at this time of year because they were heading back
outdoors to garden and play.
Like Our Facebook page by Clicking Here
for more great news and tips
While they spend most of their time
in underground burrows, male funnel webs roam garden in search of a mate
or a new place to set up shop — dark, warm shoes left outdoors being a
Australian Reptile Park general manager Tim Faulkner said the
recent rain had a knock-on effect through the entire suburban ecosystem.
started with abundant vegetation growth, which led to an increase in
insect numbers and consequently on the animals that feed on them.
That continued through the food chain to venomous spiders, snakes and other predators.
reckon if we get some more warm weather and then a few wet days the
male funnel webs are going to go bananas,” Mr Faulkner said.
Not that it’s all bad news if they do.
Mr Faulkner said the Reptile Park’s funnel web collection,
used for milking to produce antivenom, had dwindled to fewer than 100
As Australia’s sole supplier of funnel web venom, the
site needs more than 300 spiders, most caught and donated by members of
the public, to keep up with demand.
“We only get an incredibly
small amount of venom from any one spider, so it takes a large number of
milkings to get just one vial of antivenom,” Mr Faulkner said.
“Our funnel web room is only one-third full so we can’t fill the quota and that for us is a dangerous point.”
No one has died from a funnel web’s bite since an antivenom was introduced in 1980.
too, are expected to emerge due to the warmer weather, with eastern
browns, red-bellied blacks and diamond pythons among the species likely
to be seen around Sydney.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife said
people could discourage snakes from “lingering” by removing pet food
that attracted mice, removing items that could provide them shelter and
filling gaps in doors and walls to prevent entry into a house.
“If snakes do come into contact with children, adults or pets, give the snake plenty of room to escape,” it said.