• Short Summary

    In Sydney, Australia a man has spent five hours in a cage filled with deadly, funnel web spiders.

  • Description

    SV PAN Poster advertising record event TO Grinham in cage and photographers taking pictures (3 shots)

    SCU Wife Kathy and son Paul looking on as Grinham is locked in cage with spiders (2 shots)

    SV Paramedics team looking on and speaking to reporter

    SV Grinham in cage and spiders with crowd looking on (7 shots)

    Grinham in cage/funnel webs running over floor/Grinham fending off spider/funnel web rises in anger/SOF with medical officer on dangers of bite/ GV people viewing grinham/ grinham's wife and child.

    PRICE: "Thirty-one year-old Ron Grinham climbed into the tank, less than two metres square, to promote pest control week, to draw attention to the work that member of the United Pest Control Association can do in fumigating your property against the funnel web--regarded as one of the world's most deadly spiders. Outside the glass Ron's wife Cathy and his three-year-old son Paul watched as he attempted to stay clear of his hundred fellow prisoners. Also outside was a paramedic team led by Mr. Bruce Purdie who is a specialist in treating spider bites. Mr. Purdie, what sort of risk is Ron takin in there?"

    PURDIE: "He's taking a rather good one, because it's not the bite from one spider that would sorry him. If he got bitten by a spider the pain would make him possibly lose control, and if the fell down in there of course he'd get all sort of problems, because then they'd all have a go at him. When you, you know handling one spider is no problem -- handling a hundred you've got to keep your eye on them the one that bites him is the one he doesn't see. and then while he's attending to that there can be a couple more have a go at him. They are normally a pretty aggressive sort of spider, and if they saw the opportunity to sink the fangs in - you know they don't like being out here in the bright lights, and if they saw the opportunity to sink the fangs in they probably would. He'd collapse he'd have a very searing pain. In a very short period of time he'd go into convulsions, his breathing would fail, and then you've got to work it from there. So there's all sorts of problems that could happen if he loses concentration for a very short period of time. He's got to keep well aware of what's going on and if he doesn't then one will sneak up from behind and let him have it. And of course they're not going to bite him through his shoes so much as crawling up and biting through the overalls, there he's exposed area. You know, you let them get near your shoes and very quickly they can get up under your overalls and then you really got it."

    Initials BB/

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Sydney, Australia a man has spent five hours in a cage filled with deadly, funnel web spiders. The stunt was attempted so that the man could get his name in the Guiness Book of World Records, but as Roger Price of ABC reports, it may have been in vain; the publishers say it's too dangerous a sport to continue.

    Sydney pest exterminator, RON GRINHAM, has just set an unofficial world record -- that seems certain to go unrecorded.

    He's spent nearly five hours with 100 deadly spiders -- funnel-webs from the Sydney northern areas, rated among the most lethal in the world.

    However, the Guiness Book of Records collators don't want to know about it. They consider the experiment too dangerous and have apparently drawn the line with recent record attempts amid cages of venomous snakes.

    Grinham's hairy experience was viewed by the public in central Sydney. He mixed with the spiders in a glass cage, clad in boots and overalls. With warm weather, the spiders have become more active and extremely aggressive and Grinham was soon fending off funnel-webs poised to strike.

    Some have fangs about 6 mm long, which can penetrate a finger nail. They also move at speed and he had to be extremely wary during his period in the cage. Grinham said after that the "understood" spiders, was no hero and didn't take chances. His wife and child were among the spectators.

    The stunt was part of National Pest Control Week, organised to increase public awareness of the danger of funnel webs which have caused several deaths in Australia in recent years.

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