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A man says he's 'living in a nightmare' after losing a mysterious eight-inch spider he found in his garden.
Jim Dodds, from Tetbury, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Helen, discovered the spider lurking inside a plastic box on Sunday (19 September).
Not sure what it was and fearing that it may be dangerous, they trapped it there.
But before they could get an expert round to examine it, the creature disappeared, and Jim is now left checking under his pillow at night in case it jumps out at him.
Speaking about the fairly unfortunate situation he now finds himself in, the 53-year-old said he's not sure what to do.
"My first reaction was b****r. Then my second reaction was 'Oh s**t. Where has it gone?'" he said.
"I contacted Great Western Exotics, Cotswold Council, the RSPCA, Rentokil and others but no one would touch it.
"I think it is venomous but I'm not 100 percent, I just wanted it gone but no one would help, it was massive and horrendous.
"I am living nightmares. I don't want to wake up one morning and find it in my bathroom."
Experts had struggled to discern what breed the creature was due to its positioning in the photo the couple had managed to capture of it, which meant they were unable to get a good look at its markings.
An expert from local Malmesbury Vet had agreed to come and collect the creature from Jim and Helen's home to hopefully identify the potentially dangerous beast.
But the critter managed to make a break for it and it hasn't been seen since.
Jim said: "I told them 'Look, you can have the b*****y spider, you're more than welcome to go round to my house, go to the back garden and get it.'
"They were going to get it, put it in a plastic tub and identify it and Bob's your uncle. They get there, and it's not there.
"To be honest with you, if I spot it I'm running. I don't do spiders."
Professor of biology Chris Terrell Nield of Nottingham Trent University had a go at identifying the creepy creature from Jim's photo and he has warned the couple they should stay away from it.
"The reported size does tell me it is not from around here - I suspect tropical or Australasian - so is likely to be an escapee from someone's collection," he said.
"I assume it's real!
"I can tell you it is an ambush spider or funnel web spider, as it has very long spinners and downward pointing jaws, but I would need a better picture to be more certain.
"It looks like a male as it has thickened palps."
He added: "Note that I would recommend a spider like this is only dealt with by an expert.
"All spiders are venomous and some of the species in this group (e.g. Australian ones) have a nasty bite."
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