A SYDENHAM man got the shock of his life when he came face-to-face with a tarantula while shopping for bananas.

Mark Drinkwater, of Newlands Park, was left with his "heart beating through his chest" after browsing the fruit and veg section in Lidl supermarket this morning (June 3).

The 42-year-old said: "This morning I went into the store and picked up a few items.

"Then I went to the fruit a vegetable area and picked up some bananas.

"I started to pick them apart and then I realised there was a tarantula hanging from the side of the bananas.

"It was the size of the palm of my hand. It was hairy. It was scary enough.

"I shook the banana and the tarantula fell back into the box.

"It probably wasn't very happy having been thrown back in the box.

"At the time I didn't panic, I was relatively calm, but later I could feel my heart beating through my chest.

"I decided not to buy the bananas."

With the large arachnid still lurking in the banana box, staff members then had to figure out how to catch it.

Mr Drinkwater said: "I called the staff over. They got the biggest bit of tupperware they could find, put the tarantula inside and put on a lid.

"I don't know what they did with it, I shouldn't think there are many occurrences of this sort of thing happening.

"They look quite threatening. Of all the spiders it is one of the more threatening-looking ones.

"The staff there were very calm and helpful and I will continue to shop there but I don't think I'll be buying bananas for a few weeks."

A Lidl spokesperson said: "I can confirm that an as yet unidentified spider was discovered at our Sydenham store this morning.

"The spider was contained by members of our staff and placed in a food waste disposal freezer so as to ensure the safety of our customers.

"The RSPCA have been informed and we are awaiting recommendations from their staff."