I'm definitely with you there when it comes to arachnophobia, haha. I like spiders in general, but there are some species that give me the heebie-jeebies. In Thailand, it is the hutsman spiders while in Germany, it's especially the barn funnel weaver. It wouldn't be any problem to me if it wasn't for their frantic and hectic movements, agh.
for me it's the way they suddenly skitter and appear, even though I'm a kiwi and only have Katipo to worry about.
In the last house we were at I left Kitchen Spider alone as long as Kitchen Spider left me alone
Oh, you're a Kiwi! Have you ever seen a real snake before? (just being curious, as New Zealand is not only snake-free, but snakes themselves are not allowed to just exist there, not even in zoos...at least, that's what i've heard. It still baffles me in a way and i was wondering if that was true?)
I can understand that point to some degree (thinking of the foxes in Australia, or, to stay ontopic, the Brown Tree Snakes on Guam). But then again, snakes still feel treated a bit unfairly because "dangerous to the ecosystem" could also apply to any other animal that doesn't naturally occur on New Zealand, like cats and dogs for instance.
Just recently, i listened to a very nice interview where the very subject is being debated by a zoo curator who also feels of snakes being treated unfairly by this ban and goes into further detail of why he thinks that snakes (specifically chosen species so they would not pose any danger in case they should get free) should be indeed allowed: https://www.nzgeo.com/audio/should-snakes-be-allowed-in-zoos/
Oh yeah, no, don't get me wrong. There's so much sadness that we introduced mustelids and possums, let alone cats and dogs. But if we get rid of the cats before eliminating the rats, there is gonna be no winning.
Basically, we've already lost a bunch of birds, we're not keen to lose more!
Oh, don't worry, i DO understand the sentiment as i mentioned before. The one thing that rubs me the wrong way regarding this ban, however, is how unfair this treatment of snakes appears, compared to other animals. I do understand the fear for the ecosystem, but banning snakes altogether, even from zoos (while other animals that may be equally dangerous to the ecosystem are perfectly allowed), takes away the chance for people to get to know these animals that already are so unfairly misunderstood. Experiencing an animal first-hand, and may it be just in a zoo, can teach so much, sometimes even change a whole view.
Like the curator said in the interview, it would be no problem to choose a snake for a zoo that poses no danger whatsoever if it would ever escape (1. tropical, so it wouldn't survive in the wild on its own and thus pose no danger to endemic wildlife, 2. nonvenomous and medium-sized, so it wouldn't pose danger to humans. There are enough fitting species that one could choose from here). If anything else can exist and be kept in a zoo that may also be dangerous to the ecosystem and also dangerous to human beings, then i don't see why snakes shouldn't be (responsibly) handled the same way, that is all. :-)