Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Rare species of spider being saved from extinction

A rare species of venomous spider is being saved from extinction at Longleat Safari Park.

There are only a few thousand Desertas Wolf Spiders left in the wild on their native Atlantic island, off the south east coast of Madeira.

Longleat is working alongside Bristol Zoo and the Portuguese government on a conservation programme.

A total of 52 young spiders arrived in the UK in December 2017. Each spider being raised in captivity has a number - and a name.

They are being looked after in a carefully-controlled environment which mimics conditions in the wild.

In the wild, some female spiders have been known to grow up to 13cm but the ones in the laboratory are not at full size yet.

The plan is to raise the spiderlings to adulthood and then establish a breeding population with batches being released back into their natural habitat.