Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gators and sheep and rats, oh my!

As our halloween passed fairly quietly this year with no random eggings, yobs in masks or trick or treaters in general, I have decided to bore entertain you with animal to human ratios instead.

I bet you didn't know that there is a human to alligator ratio of 9:1 in the state of Florida. That's a lot of gators. As a result, the state is considering whether to remove them from an endangered species list and allow people to deal with nuisance alligators themselves. Call me crazy but in my eyes, scared-human-plus-gun-plus-big-gator can only add up to carnage in one form or another. However, I'm not entirely opposed to a big of gator hunting.

Many years ago, we used to take our holidays in Florida, staying with friends of my parents whose house backed onto a very large man made lake filled with the snaggly toothed beasts. Although the properties that surrounded the lake all had large black guard rails, once in a while there would be reports of a neighbour waking up after a storm to discover their friendly neighbourhood terror swimming in their pool. I remember the novelty factor of driving along the road and coming across alligator road kill. My mother briefly mused about whether it would make a nice little clutch bag before we drove on. But I digress, back to animal quantities.

Florida may have one gator for every human but New Zealand has 16 sheep for every human. And while that may seem outrageous at first, trust me, I've never seen so many sheep in my life as I did in New Zealand. We even created our own car game of beep the sheep as we passed endless fields full of them in our tinny old car and they certainly added a distinct charm to the rolling landscapes.

And then finally, there's London, where there are no outstanding animal ratio related facts, bar that you're never more than ten metres from a rat. Given that there are approximately ten million people (give or take) in London, that's an awful lot of rats.


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