Most people who find a huntsman in their house squash it – but not Elina Walsh.
The Townsville woman found the two-legged spider she dubbed Peggy and knew it wouldn’t survive on its own so she decided to take care of it.
Ms Walsh spent the next month feeding Peggy small cockroaches with tweezers and giving her water in a soaked cotton ball.
Peggy was able to regrow her six legs and get her mobility back.
“Initially my thought was she wasn’t going to make it and I considered putting her out of her misery,” Ms Walsh told the ABC.
“I did a quick Google search and found out that spiders can in fact regrow legs, so I thought I would give it a go.
“I am a huge animal lover, normally huntsmen aren’t my favourite choice of animal but I kind of felt sorry for her and tried to help her out.”
Ms Walsh told the Townsville Bulletin she popped Peggy into a container and gave her a bug.
“She was quite dehydrated so I gave it water and food straight away,” she said.
She is now showing “great enthusiasm” at mealtimes.
Ms Walsh is stranger to unusual pets, already owning a scorpion, snake and blue-tongued skink.
Ms Walsh even created a Facebook page for Peggy so followers could track her progress.
She now plans to wait until Peggy has another moult before releasing her back into the wild.
For her efforts she has been recognised by animal rights group PETA Australia with a Hero To Animals award.
“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,” PETA spokeswoman Emily Rice said. “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.”