#OddlyScaly: Getting Up Close And Personal

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See You Closer Alligator

An animal enthusiast in France believes in living as close as possible to them, says a report.

In an unassuming house on France’s River Loire, a cobra lives on the coffee table, a 50-kg tortoise roams the garden and a two-metre alligator sleeps in the owner’s bed while another keeps watch at the door.

Over two decades, 67-year-old reptile enthusiast Philippe Gillet has amassed a collection of more than 400 phobia-inducing animals, including rattlesnakes, tarantulas and lizards in his home in western France near the city of Nantes.

Gillet says the two alligators, named Ali and Gator, were rescued from a leather farm but most of the animals are pets that outstayed their welcome elsewhere and have been abandoned or donated.

“I think it’s unfair to treat these animals the way we do because we don’t understand them,” he told Reuters after feeding chicken to his alligators.

“We don’t understand them, we hate them, we think they’re horrible. But when we get to know them, you can call them over, tell them to come and eat something for example.”

Lobsters Sent On A Pot Trip

These lobsters are going to pot in more ways than one, says a report.

A Maine lobster pound is banking on using marijuana to try to make cooking the crustaceans a little more humane. The business, Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbour, is owned by a registered medical marijuana caregiver, according to AP.

The owner, Charlotte Gill, put a test lobster in a box with a few inches of water before marijuana smoke was blown into the box, WMTW-TV reported. We wonder if it ws given wedding cake strains in particular? Either way, the animal was calmer for the next three weeks, and she released it into the ocean, she said.

Gill plans to use the new method at customers’ requests, and then build a larger tank to sedate multiple lobsters at once.

It’s unknown whether science says pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat. But Win Watson, a zoologist with University of New Hampshire, said the possibility is worth studying.

Man Takes Love For Nature Too Far

A Florida man took his love for nature too far and is now facing protests, says a report.

Being in touch with nature is one thing. But gardening au naturel is quite another for some neighbours of the Florida man who’s been doing yard work in the nude, according to AP.

The miffed residents tell news outlets they’ve called the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, but the man continues to do yard work naked.

Sheriff William Snyder told WFTV he believes the man’s refusal to wear clothes has breached two statutes: lewd and lascivious behaviour and breach of peace.

He says authorities will begin taking statements from neighbours.

Frenetic Critters Frustrate Farmers

Frenetic squirrels are causing a lot of problems for farmers in the US, says a report.

There’s a bumper crop of squirrels in New England, and they are frustrating farmers by chomping their way through apple orchards, pumpkin patches and corn fields, says an AP report.

The varmints are fattening themselves for winter while destroying the crops with bite marks.

Robert Randall, who has a 60-acre orchard in Standish, Maine, said he’s never seen anything like it.

“They’re eating the pumpkins. They’re eating the apples. They’re raising some hell this year. It’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Risking Burns From Boiling Water

Yellowstone National Park officials have ticketed a man caught on video wandering close to Old Faithful geyser, where he risked burns from the boiling-hot water that erupts every hour or so, says a report.

The man’s actions between eruptions startled a crowd of a couple hundred people at the park’s most famous attraction. At one point, he lay on the ground near the gurgling hole, according to AP.

The man appeared to urinate on the geyser while a park ranger repeatedly yelled at him to get to safety.

Rangers caught up with him after he eventually walked back onto nearby boardwalks, Lemanski said.