Spiders are most peoples’ biggest fear. It’s definitely number one on my list of things that scare me. Just yesterday I screamed bloody murder when I came home to find a spider right beside the door handle. So, if someone were to walk in on a giant spider in their home, they’d probably not hesitate about smashing it. But that wasn’t the case for Elina Walsh who came face to face with a large huntsman spider in her Townsville, Australia home.
The huntsman spiders are known for being quite fearsome-looking. It’s not the type of spider you want to walk in to find on your home’s floor. Most people would be inclined to run away screaming or throw something at it. But, the sight of a wounded huntsman spider? Most of us would probably squash it.
Elina did something entirely different. When she noticed that the wounded spider was missing six of its legs, she chose to nurse it back to health. Elina named the huntsman spider Peggy. And surprisingly, Peggy made a full recovery as she was able to regrow her missing limbs.
As Elina shared with ABC, she wasn’t sure if the spider would be able to survive. Elina first considered putting Peggy out of her misery but something stopped her. After a quick look on Google, Elina learned that spiders are able to regrow their legs. That made her decide to give it a try.
She said, “I am a huge animal lover, normally huntsmen aren’t my favorite choice of animal but I kind of felt sorry for her and tried to help her out.”
In order to make sure that Peggy would survive while her legs regrew themselves, she fed the spider small cockroaches using a pair of tweezers and giving her water using a cotton ball. According to news.com.au, Elina is used to owning unconventional pets such as a scorpion, snake, and blue-tongued skink.
Following the recovery process, Elina set up Peggy with her own social media sites where her fans can stay up to date on the strides she’s made. But the spider isn’t the only one gaining recognition. Elina has been awarded a Hero To Animals award by the animal rights group, PETA Australia.
A spokesperson for the organization, Emily Rice, stated, “We take our hats off to this compassionate woman, who displayed great care and respect for Peggy and went above and beyond to save her life. Spiders are sentient beings with a will to live, just like humans, and they all deserve the same kindness and respect that Peggy has been shown by Elina.”
Peggy’s legs have been growing back nicely. As Elina shared on Instagram, the spider’s legs regenerated a little shorter than normal, but they will be fully functional. Elina added that she plans to wait until Peggy goes through another molting experience until she lets the spider go back into the wild.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.