In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin tells us:
As many more individuals of each species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected.
From this, we should not be particularly surprised that a species in the Lone Star State that appears to be enjoying a bit of reproductive success right now is one particularly suited to its environment, and the weapons available to the local apex predator. I speak of none but the humble armadillo . . .
The Washington Post has the story:
An East Texas man ended up in the hospital after he fired a gun at an armadillo and the bullet bounced off the animal’s back and hit the man in his face, according to news reports.
Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe told Reuters that the shooting took place on the man’s property in Marietta, Tex. — population 134 — about 3 a.m. Thursday.
“His wife was in the house,” Rowe said. “He went outside and took his .38 revolver and shot three times at the armadillo….
At least one of the bullets ricocheted off the animal’s bony, protective shell and then struck the man in his jaw, according to Reuters.
Rowe told the wire service that the injury was serious enough that the gunman had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital, where doctors wired his jaw shut. The armadillo’s condition remains a mystery.
Amazingly, this isn’t the first time that the natural armor of the armadillo has felled the hot lead and cold steel of a would-be predator.
In April, a Georgia man accidentally shot his mother-in-law when he fired a pistol at an armadillo, according to ABC affiliate WALB News. The bullet killed the animal, but it “also ricocheted off of it, hit a fence, went through the back door of his mother-in-law’s mobile home, through a recliner she was sitting in, and into her back….”
The shooter was about 100 yards away from the mobile home, police later determined. The victim — 74-year-old Carol Johnson — was not severely injured and no charges were filed in the case.
Investigator Bill Smith of the Lee County, Georgia Sheriff’s office offered the following advice for those on the prowl for the armadillo: “I really think if they’re going to shoot at varmints and whatnot, maybe use a shotgun.. with a spread pattern with a lot less range.”
Do what you like. If I’m looking to bag me a ‘dillo, I’m bringing my Garand.
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.