Great gallinippers! What’s eating you?

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When I was 4 or 5 years old, I watched from the safety of a tent while a gaze of raccoons use their creepy little hands to open a cooler and pick through its contents. It was pretty traumatic for a kid that age, or maybe just me.

When I was 10, I was chased by a peacock at the zoo (the people who were there that day maintain that I provoked it, but I sincerely have no memory of that). During my very un-awkward early teenage years, I turned my back on a horse and it bit me on the shoulder.

Almost everyone does well with cats and dogs, including me. But when the animals are of the less-domesticated variety, and I am involved, it usually turns out badly, or at least uncomfortable for me and possibly hilarious for anyone else nearby.

While I don’t believe there is a large-scale personal conspiracy against me by them, I am always fascinated by news of animals either turning on their once-loved handlers or messing up some innocent person, like the deranged squirrel who attacked a 3-year-old and a cop trying to rescue him in Orlando in 2007.

The animocalypse (to be trademarked later by me) is probably another paranoid delusion, but it never hurts to be ready. The animals occasionally attempt an assault on our way of life, like that squirrel in a prequel to the animocalypse, and brother, I am ready.

Or at least I was, until I was made aware of a mammoth mosquito called a gallinipper that recently showed up again in Florida. These horrific, nightmare-fueling creatures are capable of growing up to 20 times the size of regular mosquitoes. And like all dangerous beasts sprouting from puddles looking for blood, they have their eyes set on central Florida.


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