An autopsy has concluded that a Florida man choked to death after downing dozens of live cockroaches during a pet store contest earlier this year.
The report released Monday says 32-year-old Edward Archbold of West Palm Beach died as a result of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents.”
Lab tests for drugs came back negative. The death has been ruled an accident.
Archbold died after downing the bugs as well as worms in October for the contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, 50 miles north of Miami. The grand prize was a python.
Archbold became ill shortly after and collapsed in front of the store. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Why Pet Stores Suck
Most reptiles for sale today are taken from the wild. It’s estimated that over 11 million pet reptiles live in U.S. households, resulting in depletion of the wild population, damaged habitats and suffering of the animals involved.
In Florida, people release unwanted reptiles such as pythons and boa constrictors back into retention ponds or swamps in areas not indigenous to them. This creates a ripple effect in the ecosystem, throwing entire ecosystems out of whack.