Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 12:21 UK

Black widow found in imported van

The black widow found by the Hart family
The black widow found by the Hart family is now at a wildlife park

A family in Lincolnshire has discovered a black widow spider inside an old camper van imported from the US.

Dan and Lois Hart from Holbeach Hurn, collected the VW Camper van from Stamford on Saturday.

Their son Liam found the potentially lethal spider inside the vehicle behind the sun visor.

After identifying the spider with the help of the internet, they took it to the Long Sutton Butterfly and Wildlife Park.

Mrs Hart said the van had come from California and had been in the country since November.

You can get a nasty bite from this
Michael Cross, Long Sutton Butterfly and Wildlife Park

"On the Sunday morning, Liam got in the front (of the van) and saw it on the sun visor.

"They put it in a container, he got it to a friend's house and took a picture of it.

"Then they put it on the internet and identified it, and they took it up to the butterfly park," she said.

Sons Liam and Connor described it as "black, big, scary".

Owner of Long Sutton Butterfly and Wildlife Park Michael Cross said: "You can get a nasty bite from this.

"It won't necessarily be fatal... but it certainly is very painful. Everyone's afraid of the black widow."

Mr Cross added that the spider would be an exhibit at the wildlife park, alongside the butterflies and other insects.

"I'm sure it will be quite happy here. We will look after it," he said.

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