01/31/2013 03:07 pm ET Updated Apr 02, 2013

Stupid Human Tricks (And the Animals Victimized by Them)

A recent news item caught my eye, and just in case you missed it: In the effort to win a prize (which happened to be a live python), a Florida man choked to death attempting to swallow dozens of live roaches. The Broward County coroner's report noted cause of death as "asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents." To be clear, those "contents" being poorly chewed roach parts. There was no report on how the python was doing.

This reminded me of a case in Phoenix back when I worked for the Arizona Humane Society. There was this guy in town who bred and sold large, burrowing African tortoises (along with other exotic "pets"). His house literally collapsed into the ground, falling into a giant pit dug by the adult tortoises under his foundation. In that case, happily, none of the tortoises were hurt when the house fell into the gigantic hole they created. Just deserts....

I think we'll just have to consider this post as the first of an ongoing occasional series reporting on just how dumb humans can be and the animals that sadly get caught up in their stupidity.