Crippled creepy crawly nursed back to health
A YOUNG huntsman spider with two legs had a lucky escape after finding itself in the home of a kind-hearted young woman.
For more than a month, animal-loving Elina Walsh nursed the spider back to health by feeding and watering it.
"I'm not normally a fans of huntsmans, but this one was a small one, and I thought it wouldn't survive with two legs," she said.
Taking pity, Ms Walsh caught the spider and decided to take care of it and gave it the name Peggy.
Ms Walsh is no stranger to exotic pets, sharing her home with a scorpion, snake and blue-tongued skink, so a spider in the collection wasn't too much to ask.
But she had to win over her husband, Jarvis Walsh, who normally hates huntsman spiders.
"I thought I would pop it into a container and give it a bug. She was quite dehydrated so I gave it water and food straight away."
The pair developed a close bond with the spider, even creating an Instagram page (peggy.the.2leggy) to track her recovery.
Researching the spider online, Ms Walsh discovered huntsman spiders were able to grow their legs back if young enough. They live for about two years. After a few weeks in care, Peggy shed her skin and grew six new legs - returning her mobility.
Ms Walsh fed her twice a week, using a set of tweezers to drop in small cockroaches.
She plans on keeping it until her next moult in the hope of Peggy making a full recovery.
"From now on, every spider will be welcome at home," Ms Walsh said.
She was awarded a Hero to Animals Award by animal activist group PETA.
"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.
Originally published as Crippled creepy crawly nursed back to health