This report was in todays SMH.
Incy wincy terror
May 2, 2005
British hospital staff have released one of the world's deadliest spiders on hospital grounds, after the chef it bit on the hand took it with him when seeking treatment.
Agence France-Presse reports that hospital staff in Somerset released the Brazilian wandering spider, deadlier than a black widow and known for its speed and aggression, after mistaking it for an everyday garden-variety arachnid.
The spider normally lives in more tropical climes but is thought to have arrived in England in a box of bananas.
The 13-centimetre creature bit the chef, Matthew Stevens, twice on the hand in his pub kitchen last month in Bridgwater in Somerset. Mr Stevens, 23, photographed the spider with his mobile phone, thinking it dead after it had fallen in the freezer and been stunned by the cold. Just to make sure, he poured boiling water over the spider and placed it in a jar, The Times reported. Later he also cooked the spider in the microwave.
But by the time Mr Stevens was taken to hospital, dizzy and shaking and with his hand badly swollen, the spider had shaken off the ill treatment and was up and moving again, struggling to get out of the jar.
It was taken with Mr Stevens to the hospital, and then inadvertently released.
The photo Mr Stevens took with his mobile phone was sent to Bristol Zoo in western England, where experts identified the spider while doctors treated the cook with oxygen and a saline drip.
He was released a day later.
Officials at the hospital said the Brazilian wandering spider was unlikely to pose a risk to public health since it "would have died very soon after being released" because of the cold.
They did not explain why this seemingly indestructible monster, which had survived microwaving, freezing and boiling water, would feel compelled to curl up and die after a stroll in the Somerset countryside.