I just rescued a spider.
I've recently moved, and much of my stuff is still in boxes. Part way through moving, I ran out of packing tape, so I started using duct tape for some of the boxes. It works just as well, although it doesn't always seem to hold to the cardboard quite as well, so sometimes you get corners of it peeling off and hanging down.
Anyways, I was working around some of the boxes tonight and noticed a spider stuck to some duct tape that had been coming off one of them. Further inspection revealed that he was still living, but was quite stuck and incapable of freeing himself.
My first instinct was to leave him. But after a short while I had a change of heart and set about trying to rescue him. I found myself a dull paring knife and talked him through what we were doing as I gently, gently worked his legs away from the tape. His first inclination upon having a leg freed was to grab onto whatever he could with it...which was often the same bit of tape I had just freed it from. After a time, I got him to start clinging to an envelope with the legs I freed, rather than sticking them back on the tape. And after a bit more, he was entirely on the envelope. But somewhere in that struggle something went wrong, and a single leg remained stuck to the tape. Sans spider. And spider, sans leg.
He limped around the envelope, seemingly glad to be freed, but confused and lame.
I apologized for the leg.
Then I took him outside near some bushes, overturned a shallow box to provide him some cover if needed, and released him. I don't know how he'll do, injured as he is.
Was he better off stuck to the tape, dying slowly of starvation?
Or freed in his mangled state?
I'm not really sure.