Killer Mistakenly Released From Its Prison


This case of mistaken identity occurred over 6 years ago, but I thought it was interesting and that it also contained valuable lessons to be learned by all. See if you agree.

Bananas seem innocent enough but its what makes the long trip from Brazil with the bananas, that can ruin your day. The Brazilian Wandering Spider is one of the world’s deadliest spiders, and a British chef was almost killed by one. To make matters worse the spider was later inadvertently freed.

How it All Began

As mentioned earlier, this spider, deadlier than a Black Widow, famed for its speed and aggression, found itself on a ship leaving Brazil and headed for the far less tropic England. It ended up in the kitchen of chef Matthew Stevens’ pub in Bridgwater, Somerset. The spider, despite his name, Brazilian Wandering Spider, did not enjoy the cruise and arrived in a nasty mood. Upon arriving at the quaint English pub, it bit the chef twice on the hand, apparently not adhering to the old adage of  ‘not biting the hand that feeds you’. Maybe it was the English cuisine that often brings criticism from tourists.

How Much Can You Take?

There the spider laid, looking very dead, when our wounded chef decided to use his cellphone to take a picture of his assailant. Unaware that when the spider had fallen into the freezer, was just stunned by the cold and wasn’t really dead after all. Michael then decides to pour boiling water on the stricken spider, thinking this would make certain its demise. He then put the frozen, boiled spider in a jar. Still not satisfied, he put the spider in the microwave and cooked it. All these efforts taken to ‘insure’ the death of this spider should be noted and remembered at the conclusion of this article.

Both Chef and Spider Hospitalized

Finally, Chef Stevens is brought to the hospital, dizzy and shaking and having a very swollen hand. The spider accompanied him to the hospital (it was the least he could do) and by now it was doing fine, suffering no notable ill-effects from being frozen, boiled and microwaved. The spider’s only complaint was the restriction of his ‘wandering’ by the glass jar prison he found himself in.

The mobile phone photograph of the spider was sent to Bristol Zoo where experts identified the spider. Doctors treated Mr Stevens with oxygen and a saline drip and sent him home the next day.

Poor Little Spider?

If you worked in a hospital and saw a jar with a spider in it struggling to get out, what would you do? Would you assume someone was just being mean to the poor little spider and it would be oh, so much happier out in the hospital garden? How many people bring spiders to a hospital in a jar, just on a whim? Few hospitals have a ‘Bring your pet to work day’. At any rate this self-professed ‘Good Samaritan’ set the spider, charged with attempted murder, free thinking, ‘what a lovely garden for the poor upset spider’. Here’s the first lesson, ask before releasing deadly spiders into hospital gardens.

What Were They Thinking?

As inconceivable it is to me that someone who worked in a hospital might not reason there may be a good reason for incarcerating a spider, the statement made by Hospital Officials about the danger posed by releasing of the spider is even more unfathomable. They said the freed spider was unlikely to put anyone at risk because ” it would have died very soon after being released” because of the cold. Second lesson, if your opponent has been put in a freezer until it lies motionless, boiled with hot water and then microwaved and still is alive and well, don’t count on the damp, cold winter of England to eliminate it as a threat once and for all. Is it just me or does that only make sense?




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