Benjamin Hecker
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Right on Red State: Florida Wildlife

Gators and Mosquitoes and Meth Heads, Oh My!

The rare multicolored rhino. 

Nothing I can say can help you if you come face to face with one of these.

Everything in Florida WILL try to kill you. Alligators, mosquitoes, Floridians, they all have the capacity to kill you.

Alligators, Nature's Blenders

In Florida there is a lot of water, 3 out of 4 sides are surrounded by it. If a body of water exists for more than 2 days in Florida, there is an alligator in it. Lakes, swamps, bath tubs, puddles, water cups, nowhere is safe. At the bottom of this article is a video about alligators. It is about 5 minutes, so you're better off watching it before you deal with alligators, not while you're dealing with alligators.

The main things you need to know are:

  1. They are everywhere.
  2. They are nocturnal.
  3. They go after small prey.
  4. They are intimidated by height.

Mosquitoes, Nature's Used Needles

Like any ecosystem built on top of swamps, Florida is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are the leading cause of deadly diseases and very itchy bumps. Floridian mosquitoes are trained to bite in the most uncomfortable and inaccessible places. Seriously, how did the mosquito bite inside my nose without me noticing?

Just like alligators, mosquitoes are frequently around stagnant bodies of water. So don't leave water out, and don't leave containers that can get filled up with water out in the rain. Otherwise you will be responsible for the mosquito breeding ground formed and the diseases spread from it. Do you want that on your conscience?

Floridians, Nature's Meth Heads

Florida has the highest number of Floridians in the United States. Unlike most people, Floridians have tough leather like hides to protect them from the harsh sun. If attacked by a Floridian, do not try to break this skin. The constant sunlight has made them virtually bullet proof. Rather try to make yourself as big as possible and toss them any recreational drug you have available. The former will frighten the Floridian and the latter will allow you to gain it's trust.

Millionaires, Nature's Billionaires

Florida has the second highest number of millionaires who will hunt you for sport, ala Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game, in the United States, just behind California. The key to avoiding being hunted is to never accept an offer to go hunting with a man, or woman, if they say they will give you a 15 minute head start. If you are currently on the run from a man, or woman, who is hunting you for sport, here are some tips. First of all, don't waste your 15 minute head start trying to plead for your life. Millionaires don't respond to appeals like, “Please sir, or ma’am, I have a family,” or, “My head won't look good on your wall, it doesn't match the carpet or the drapes.” Millionaires can afford to redecorate the room based around your head, and you should be honored that they are willing to do that.

I recommend using your 15 minutes to run. Do not hide in the cave on the north west side of the property. Millionaire has a secret tunnel that will take him right to you once a rock slide blocks your escape.

Once Millionaire has you cornered, take solace in the fact he, or she, will not shoot you in the face, if only to make it easier on the taxidermist. If you wanted to survive, maybe you should have listened to Mrs. Aranguiz in 9th grade and read The Most Dangerous Game. It’s a short story, it would have taken you thirty minutes at most.

This is hardly a comprehensive list of Florida wildlife. There are panthers, the state animal; mockingbirds, the state bird; snowbirds, the state fair-weather bird, and many others. It is impossible to list every animal in Florida, mainly because I don't have the patience to do it. So get a wildlife book or something before coming to Florida, and watch this video and learn more about alligators.

4 Rules of Gators

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