- Elina Walsh helped a huntsman spider regrow six of its legs after it was attacked
- She said she intended to put Peggy out of her misery before researching spiders
- Her care and compassion earned her a Hero to Animals Award from PETA
A animal lover nursed an injured huntsman spider named Peggy back to life after she found her with six missing legs.
Elina Walsh, from Townsville, Far North Queensland, hand-fed the emancipated spider cockroaches and within a month the spider started to regrow six of its legs.
Ms Walsh said she suspected the arachnid had been attached by a bird or a gecko and she was initially going to put Peggy out of her misery.
Her compassion and care has earned her a Hero to Animals Award from PETA.
'I did a quick Google search and found out that spiders can in fact regrow legs, so I thought I would give it a go,' she told the ABC.
'I am a huge animal lover, normally huntsmen aren't my favourite choice of animal but I kind of felt sorry for her and tried to help her out.'
Images showed Peggy with just two of her legs when Ms Walsh first started to care for her.
Other social media posts show the spider eagerly devouring its dinner.
More recent updates show Peggy in the later stages of her regeneration with her legs regrown and stalking her prey.
'Now that she has got her legs back she is able to hunt quite well on her own, but the ones that have regrown are quite a bit smaller,' Ms Walsh said.
She said the next time Peggy moults her legs should all be the same size.
Ms Walsh said that is when she will comfortable releasing Peggy back into the wild.
PETA spokeswoman Emily Rice said the organisation stumbled upon a Facebook post about Ms Walsh's efforts and wanted to recognise her.
'We take our hats off to this compassionate woman, who displayed great care and respect for Peggy and went above and beyond to save her life,' Ms Rice said.
'Spiders are sentient beings with a will to live, just like humans, and they all deserve the same kindness and respect that Peggy has been shown by Elina.'