A crafty badger has today admitted to circulating a misleading and factually incorrect story about 'man-eating death spiders', in a desperate bid to lead the publics' attention away from the mass badger cull that shot into action back in August.
Speaking anonymously from an undisclosed location, the shifty omnivore claims that he hijacked a trusted and well respected nature blog to doctor an article on the Steatoda Nobilis, or 'False Widow Spider', a naturally reclusive relation to the more deadly Black Widow, and proceeded to circulate the deceitful article via several fake Facebook accounts.
The hoax story, which started gathering pace online before going full-on viral, was picked up by several tabloids before eventually making national TV news, causing widespread panic amongst the general public, who began attacking every innocent house and shed-dwelling arachnid with shoes and tea towels.
'I regret nothing', mumbled the badger from behind a 'V for Vendetta' face-mask. 'We've had some serious heat over the last couple of months; it gets tiring, you know. Not long after I sent out that bullshit story, farmers swapped their shotguns for rolled-up magazines, and instead of poking around our dens, were creeping around their sheds and shaking their duvets looking for little farty spiders that, anyone with half a brain knows, is highly unlikely to show itself or even bother biting anyone'.
'It's quite funny when you think about it. I can't believe people fell for that picture of a "spider-bite victim" with a twelve-inch gash on his leg. That was a screenshot from a "Craziest Shark Attacks" video I found on YouTube'.
He continued, 'I did a dry-run with a "mutant killer sheep" story a few weeks back, but it didn't really get anywhere - only the Daily Mail took the story on, but obviously they didn't really give it much credibility. The killer spider story gave me more than enough time to completely relocate. Yes I caused widespread hysteria and have possibly put innocent breeds of spiders at risk, but so what, shoot me. Actually, no, forget that last bit'.