This morning I woke up in a Carl Hiaasen novel.
Hiaasen writes novels set in Florida where seemingly unbelievable things happen, but they always do actually happen in Florida. Today, Ohio has an exotic animal escapade to rival Florida's best adventures.
The basics of the story is that an exotic animal owner in southeastern Ohio was found dead with all of the animal cages open. When the sheriff arrived, the “four, aggressive” animals were apparently eating the dead owner. The other animals were roaming the Ohio countryside.
The owner kept camels and giraffes, along with lions, tigers, bears, cheetahs, and wolves. 48 animals in all that are now hiding in Ohio. The sheriff's office, of course, shot to kill the loose animals. So far they've tracked down about 30 animals. The Columbus Zoo sent people to help, hoping to tranquilize the animals rather than kill them. Schools down there are cancelled today as people crouch in their homes looking out the window.
So I wondered, how did the guy die? The animals couldn't have opened all the cages. My first thought is suicide. He decided to open the cages and let the animals attack him, plus, he got the last laugh on the officials who kept citing him for violating the exotic animal codes.
And I would have gone with that theory if not for the end of the news article which explained that another exotic animal owner near Cleveland, Ohio had been in trouble too. That owner was found dead this summer, tied up and wearing a mask.
Now the Hiaasen plot kicks in. Obviously, someone is going around Ohio killing exotic animal owners and creating havoc. Why would someone do this?
Ohio has one of the weakest exotic animal laws apparently. So the obvious answer is that it must be some Ohio legislator who wants to strengthen the exotic animal law. He can't get the needed votes or attention. That's why he starts killing exotic animal owners and letting the animals roam loose.
Now he has people's attention.
What do you think? Too far fetched? Has Hiaasen already written this novel?
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