May 6, 2004

Wild animals in the city: 3 things.

The Capital Times reports this discovery in Milwaukee:
More than 70 ducks in a basement pen were only part of the menagerie authorities found in [Jamie L. Verburgt's] Milwaukee area apartment after other residents complained of the stench coming from the unit.... Others among about 200 live creatures in the apartment included snakes, rats, turtles, a pair of alligators, toads and scorpions. ...

John Walters, Verburgt's boyfriend, was prosecuted in 2000 for mistreatment of exotic animals. At that time, police found a female cougar, female leopard, silver-tailed fox, monitor lizard, two caracals, a coatimundi, chinchilla and a reticulated python in Walter's apartment in Greenfield, another Milwaukee suburb. ...
(Ah, see: there's someone for everybody.) (Mmmm... "reticulated"!) That story reminded me of this passage from "The Life of Pi":
If you took the city of Tokyo and turned it upside down and shook it, you'd be amazed at all the animals that would fall out: badgers, wolves, boa constrictors, Komodo dragons, crocodiles, ostriches, baboons, capybaras, wild boars, leopards, manatees, ruminants in untold numbers. There is no doubt in my mind that feral giraffes and feral hippos have been living in Tokyo for generations without being seen by a soul.
And that reminds me of the movie "12 Monkeys," which has a great animals-in-the-city theme. (And to say that is to allow Brad Pitt to make a second appearance on my blog today. So I'll just add that I'm not really a Brad Pitt fan, but I do love a couple of his movies, "12 Monkeys" and "Fight Club.")