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An Australian funnel-web spider is seen at the Australian Reptile Park in a January 23, 2006 file photo. (GETTY)

Australians warned of possible deadly spider ‘bonanza’

Australians, already reeling from months of devastating bushfires, have been warned they face a potential “bonanza” of “super dangerous” funnel-web spiders. While experts have voiced fears that the bushfires have killed as many as a billion wild animals, and pushed as many as a 100 species closer to extinction, the deadly spiders are apparently thriving.

Jake Meney, of the Australian Reptile Park, north of Sydney, told Australia’s 9 News on Wednesday that hot temperatures and days of rain have increased humidity, creating perfect conditions to lure the spiders out of their hiding places.

He said the park has seen an increase in the number of funnel-web spiders, which are native to eastern Australia, being brought into the park by members of the public. The increase prompted the park to issue a warning for Australians to keep an eye out for the creatures.

Male funnel-web spiders are of particular concern, as they are more likely to emerge seeking mating partners — and their venom is six-times more potent than that of their female counterparts.

Author: DARIA CONNOLLY, CBS News
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