Life-saving anti-venom is in short supply for the treatment of bites from the world's deadliest spider.
A funnel-web spider bite can kill a human in just hours if the anti-venom is not injected into the victim but supplies in Australia are running at less than 50%.
Now experts who milk the poison from the spiders to create anti-venom are appealing to the Australian public to catch the deadly creatures so they can increase stocks.
Spider keeper Julie Mendezona, from the Australian Reptile Park, said: "Usually we are the ones saying to people if you see a dangerous animal leave it alone and it will leave you alone and you won't have any run-ins.
"But it is really important that we turn to the community to actually obtain our funnel-webs. It's the most productive way for us to get these animals."
The venom is taken from the spiders by delicately stroking their fangs and collecting the tiny droplets of deadly poison.
It is then sent away to a laboratory and turned into the anti-venom.
Just one dose of anti-venom takes around 70 milkings from a spider. The males are six times more deadly than the females and are therefore more sought after.
The funnel-webs live on the eastern seaboard of Australia and if disturbed in gardens or backyards will attack unsuspecting victims.
Pensioner John Gambrill, who lives near Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW), was bitten on the wrist while doing some gardening.
He told Sky News: "Everything sort of happened all at once and I thought, this is not good.
"I just didn't know how bad it was going to get. I had perspiration coming out of me everywhere, I had the shakes, I felt a bit faint.
"The ambulance got here in about five or 10 minutes and they wouldn't let me walk out of the house, putting me on a stretcher instead.
"The paramedics even brought the spider to hospital with me so the doctors could identify it and give me the right treatment."
He was treated and put under observation before being released some hours later.
Young children can suffer especially badly if bitten.
Dr Naren Gunja from the NSW Poisons Information Centre has treated a number of children and says the symptoms can be terrifying.
He said: "You have profuse sweating, frothing at the mouth, salivation. Then that can lead to having neurological and respiratory failure.
"Ultimately you can potentially die within hours of a bite."
Dozens of Australians are bitten by funnel-webs every year but thankfully since the anti-venom was introduced in the early 1980s there have been no deaths.
The spiders like moist, humid conditions and because recent weather has not been so suitable for their reproduction the zoo has fewer specimens than normal.
So now it is asking the Australian public to face its fear, and rather than killing any funnel-webs, catch them and take them to the zoo so they can be used to potentially save lives.