Spider takes up home in letterbox
A woman found a giant spider and hundreds of her babies nesting in her letterbox.
Natasha Joyce allowed a huntsman - which measures up to 15 centimetres across the legs - she called Hortense to take up camp in her mailbox at her home in Bendigo in Victoria, Australia, for weeks so it could nest and hatch its young as safely as possible.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Australia, Ms Joyce said: "We checked on her everyday since she moved in six weeks ago and yesterday the eggs hatched.
"There were hundreds, at least two hundred ... we were incredibly excited. It's been a real hit with the neighbourhood kids. They love it. As soon as my four-year-old nephew comes here he says: 'I want to see the big spider lady.' And when I looked after friend's daughters, who are six and eight years old, they were so excited about the babies they made Hortense a little nursery, complete with a nappy changing table, cot and sofa."
Natasha was determined to do all she could to ensure the spider was happy, so she contacted Museums Victoria for advice and was told Hortense would be "extremely protective of her egg sac and will bite much more readily than at other times."
Huntsman spiders -which are part of the non-aggressive group of spiders - will bite humans if they feel at threat and, although they can cause local swelling and a little bit of pain, the area will go down within a few days and will not usually prove life-threatening.