Creepy-crawly: Mark Wilmot found a giant spider and released it in Surrey
A giant spider was released into the Surrey wilderness after the man who found it took advice from friends on the web.
Spanning the size of a human hand, a huntsman spider or Australian tarantula, hitch-hiked 5,000 miles in a flat-packed shed from China to the UK.
A familiar sight to fans of the show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here, the spider could now give residents a live dose of the reality programme.
Known to shelter in homes in hot countries, the lizard-eating arachnid is not deadly, but can deliver a powerful punch.
The eight-legged spider, also known as the giant crab spider, has a painful bite that causes swelling, which can lead to vomiting and headaches.
Native to Australia but found in hot climates, the spider was discovered by Mark Wilmot, 48, while assembling a garden shed.
Mark, head shed installer for Reigate Garden Centre, set up the £500-structure at the Reigate home of the Allen family on Tuesday, July 7.
He said: "It was enormous, the biggest thing I'd ever seen, and quick too, it darted across the wood.
"It crawled into a corner and stopped moving, I grabbed an empty box of screws and managed to trap it inside – it completely filled the box.
"I put some holes in it so it could breathe and taped it up, then put it back in the van to carry on working.
"I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it, but my girlfriend has a snake and (it) loves insects, so I thought I'd take it home for her to see."
After months trapped between timbers en route from east Asia, the spider spent a further day travelling around East Surrey.
Mark said: "I put the box in the van but completely forgot it was there.
"It spent the night in the van and then went all around Surrey with me.
"It wasn't until the following day I remembered."
After a further two days with Mark and his partner Tracy Williamson, 32, the couple decided to set the spider free.
Mark, of Emlyn Road, Earlswood, said: "We couldn't work out what it was, so we posted a picture of it on Facebook.
"We asked if anyone knew what kind of spider it was, and eventually someone wrote and said it looked like a huntsman."
"So, I decided to let the thing go, as we didn't think it was deadly."
The bug-eater was released into a field off Honeycrock Lane, Salfords.
Mother-of-two, Nicky Allen, 44, of Broadhurst Gardens, said: "It took about two hours to put the shed up. I'm just glad they caught it."