Since moving to Orlando a year ago, two things have become very clear to me: Florida wouldn't be Florida without two things: the wildlife and Florida Man stories. And it seems a good chunk of you agree, because the comments of my other animal-related Florida Man news story list popped off. I was going to share more of my favorite animal-related news stories regardless, honestly, because there are too many to list, but at least now I have a valid excuse.
And that is my segue into sharing even more of the craziest animal-related Florida man news stories I've found. Let's get to it.
1. "A cassowary, a rare emu-like bird, attacks and kills Florida man, officials say"
I'd like to make something very clear: Though I haven't been accused, light of this situation is not being made. Out of respect I was going to pass it over for another story and try to kept more lighthearted, but honestly, it's important for stories like these to be remembered so people aren't forgotten. As a double, the lesson behind this story of how quickly wild animals can turn I also find vital.
2019 was a very sad year indeed when 75-year-old Gainesville resident Marvin Hajos was attacked by his pet cassowary, a large emu-like bird, and died after he fell. Sadly, Marvin Hajos himself was the one to make the call to 911 where he died in hospital. An autopsy showed that a major artery had been severed by the bird's claws.
It is a terrible price this lovely man had to pay for his fondness for exotic animals. I hope you see the most beautiful birds in the afterlife!
2. "Florida Man Mauled by Leopard After He Paid $150 for a 'Full Contact Experience'"
What was meant to be a more light-hearted article is quickly turning into a "what not to do with wild animals" situation and I'm very much here for it honestly, because the animals of Florida are not playing, and I feel like somebody who wasn't aware of these stories who needs to read them will come across this list and save themselves from getting very hurt. Like this unfortunate Florida Man, Dwight Turner.
Mr. Turner here decided to visit a "wild animal sanctuary" that was illegally keeping big cats and selling cheap "full-contact experiences" for untrained civilians to go into a cage with a wildcat.
That's full-contact, alright. What fool would do this? Apparently, Mr. Turner, who immediately found the cat going for his jugular and his ear being ripped off once he stepped inside the cage.
And then Mr. Turner decided to sue the "animal sanctuary", who's liability waiver was voided for their neglectful treatment of the animals, for his pain and suffering.
Am I wrong for feeling like they both deserved this a little? Maybe not having your ear ripped off, but clearly, they're both in the wrong. Poor cat.
3. "Florida Man Attacked by Kinkajou, an Exotic Rainforest Creature, After Opening His Front Door"
Now this is not a headline you see everyday. Imagine walking out your front door to be met with a fluffy creature flying at your face. Your day would go from great to not-so lightning fast. A Florida man who had a pension for feeding the wild animals was attacked by a Kinkajou he fed the night before after walking out his front door in 2019.
According to CBS 12, the unnamed man was "leaving his girlfriend’s Lake Worth Beach apartment to go to work in the morning when a kinkajou came barging into the second-story residence and attacked him."
I would have needed a new change of underwear. That's all I'm saying. But maybe the little creature was just excited after reportedly waiting all night outside for some more watermelon, which it was fed the night before.
The victim suffered some bites and scratches, but thankfully, ended up okay, and maybe a little more wary to feed the wildlife.
What story struck you the most? Let me know in the comments!