15:16 08 October 2012
Hundreds of giant spiders, that are apparently capable of eating fish, have been returned to the wild. The spiders are all great raft spiders, Britain’s biggest species. They are known to grow to 8cm across.
The spiders, all 170 of them, were raised in special test tubes by scientists hoping to boost their numbers. They were fed dead flies, with Bristol Zoo Gardens keeper Carmen Solan operating the test tubes using her own mouth according to reports.
When the spiders got big enough, the scientists decided to put them back in their natural habitat.
The spiders are understood to have a life expectancy of two and a half years, but they can supposedly only survive when living in marshes.
Natural England, the BBC Wildlife Fund, and the Broads Authority are planning to reintroduce them to Norfolk Broads.
According to official reports, around 200 baby spiders have been released at the RSPB’s Strumpshaw Fen near Nowrich.
Ecologist Dr. Helen Smith said that the collective efforts of 10 zoos who reared the spiders will boost their survival rates by up to 90per cent.
She said, as quoted by The Mirror: “Having invested their summer into feeding them, people do get quite attached. But when you return the next year and see 500 to 700 babies, it’s worth the effort.”
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