A South Yorkshire animal trainer faced her greatest fear recently, in a bid to raise cash for a worthy charity.
Heather Scott raked in more than £300 for BBC’s Children In Need, when she conquered a lifelong fear by holding a giant tarantula – even allowing it to crawl across her face.
The Chilean Rose spider, which can reach up to 15cm in diameter, is one of the most popular tarantulas to keep as pets, as it is not venomous.
However, the one Heather, a bird trainer at North Anston’s Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife And Falconry Centre, held was not used to being handled so tensions were a little high.
Heather said: “Friends and family find it funny I’m scared of spiders considering I work with creatures potentially more dangerous.
“However, there is something about spiders that has always frightened me.
“I felt extremely anxious, but I was determined to succeed and I feel proud of my achievement. Luckily the tarantula, who we named Pudsey in honour of the challenge, turned out to be very friendly.
“I’m just glad that it’s done and I managed to make some money for this fantastic charity.