Spiders Killed My Rabbit- Daily Mail Newspaper- Exclusive News Story- ***November 2013***

Mum Sam Davies contacted us after discovering false widow spiders in the same hutch where her daughter's rabbit mysteriously died.

Miss Davies wanted to warn other pet owners of the potential dangers.

We sold the story on Sam's behalf to the Daily Mail newspaper who ran it as an exclusive.

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Spider killed my rabbit: Mother finds her pet dead and poisonous false widows in its hutch

  • Samantha Davies, 21, found Molly's body lying next to a spider's web
  • She became worried for the safety of her 18-month-old daughter Rosie
  • Environmental health department was '98 per cent certain' spiders caused the pet's death

By LUKE SALKELD

 

A pet rabbit has apparently become the latest victim of false widow spiders.

Only hours earlier one-year-old Molly had been hopping happily around the garden. But she was found dead in her hutch after it was infested by the  poisonous creatures.

Recently false widow spiders have put several people in hospital after biting them and even caused a school to be closed temporarily.

 
Enlarge Victim: The body of the pet rabbit, called Molly, was found next to a spider's web with five false widows crawling around

Victim: The body of the pet rabbit, called Molly, was found next to a spider's web with five false widows crawling around

 

Molly’s owner Samantha Davies found her dead when she went to feed her two rabbits, Molly and Milly.

When the 21-year-old removed Molly’s body, she found a hammock-shaped web and up to five spiders scuttling around the hutch.

 

After using the internet to identify them as false widows, Miss Davies became worried for the safety of her 18-month-old daughter, Rosie.

She contacted her local environmental health department in the hope of having her home treated for infestation. Her request was declined, but  an officer told her he was 98 per cent certain the spider was responsible for Molly’s death.

Yesterday Miss Davies, a kitchen assistant, said: ‘We couldn’t believe it when we saw the spiders. I was really upset when Molly died.

 
Devastated: Samantha Davies, 21, pictured with her 18-month-old daughter Rosie and partner Scott Barnes, was told by an environmental health officer he was 98 per cent certain the pet's death was caused by the spiders

 

‘I really didn’t want the spiders around my daughter. We asked environmental health if they could help us, but they refused.

‘If it had been a rat, they would have done something, but not with poisonous spiders.’

Miss Davies, who lives with her partner Scott Barnes and their daughter in Mountain Ash, South Wales, has since disinfected the hutch where Milly still lives, and killed the spiders she found last weekend. 

The false widow is the most dangerous of the 12 species of biting spider known to be in Britain and cases of people being bitten by the venomous creature have been on the rise.

John Catlin, 66, from Bromley, Kent, is still recovering a year after a bite that caused his organs to start shutting down. Bodybuilder Gary Meadows from Teesville, Middlesbrough, required a skin graft when he was bitten in 2011 and has suffered severe reactions to any insect bite since.

Layla Benton, 14, was off school  for three weeks after her knee swelled up when she was bitten in her bathroom in Basildon, Essex. And last month Dean Academy in Lydney, Gloucestershire, had to close its doors to pupils after the dangerous spiders were found there.

The spiders are shiny and black with distinctive cream markings on the abdomen that resemble a horseshoe – or, to some eyes, a skull.

They have long, spindly legs and  are easily confused with the black widow, a far more venomous cousin not found in Britain.

As with most species of spider, it is the female false widow which is the force to be reckoned with. Males tend not to grow much bigger than two centimetres, while females reach up to three centimetres.

The first false widow is thought to have come to Britain  from the Canary Islands or Madeira in the 1870s in a bunch of bananas. The first recorded sighting was in Torquay, Devon, in 1879. 



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2483874/Spider-killed-rabbit-Mother-finds-pet-dead-poisonous-false-widows-hutch.html#ixzz2jfpNmXXu 
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