Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic PetsBook - 2010
Explores the economic and environmental impact of the exotic animal trade, from poachers and traders to breeders and pet owners.
Globe Fearon Co
do so many people keep illicit, dangerous pets?
On the heels of his acclaimed The Dangerous World of Butterflies, investigative journalist Peter Laufer is back to chronicle his worldwide quest to penetrate the underworld of international animal smuggling. In Forbidden Creatures, Laufer exposes the network of hunters, traders, breeders, and customers who constitute this nefarious business?which, estimated at $10 to $20 billion annually, competes with illegal drug and weapons trafficking in the money it earns criminals.
Laufer asks: What is being smuggled, from where and why? What is being done to stop the illegal trading and irresponsible breeding? Taking readers to exotic and often lawless locales, Laufer introduces brazen and dangerous traders and wealthy customers whose greed and mindless self-interest perpetuate what is now a crisis of survival for a growing number of wild species.
Woven throughout with riveting stories from law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors, Forbidden Creatures is a compelling, first-person narrative written in Laufer’s hallmark conversational, entertaining style.
"Forbidden Creatures addresses an important issue with major environmental and ethical consequences-the alarming spread of animal smuggling. Let's hope it helps stem the tide."-Allison Chin, president, Sierra Club
"This book is a wild romp through backyards and bedrooms full of exotic-sometimes dangerous-creatures. And it is an exploration of the human psyche: What drives some people to become outlaws just to satisfy their desire to subjugate nature's other beasts? Laufer has hit another home run."-Mark Bauman, National Geographic Society
"A compelling, all-angles examination...Laufer delivers an absorbing science lesson for fans of the colorful bugs."-Publishers Weekly
"In this absorbing and far-reaching chronicle, Laufer applies his insatiable journalistic appetite to exploring the crossroads where humans and butterflies meet."-NPR Science Desk
"Like The Orchid Thief, The Dangerous World of Butterflies takes us deep into the dark heart of obsessed collectors and the passionate activism of people working to repopulate species like the Palos Verdes blue...Laufer's book is a Venn diagram of the beautiful and bizarre."-Los Angeles Times
"Laufer's book is charming and his attention to detail...made me want to read everything else he has written."-Andrew Ervin, Washington Post
On thte heels of his acclaimed The Dangerous World of Butterflies, investigative journalist Peter Laufer is back to chronicle his global quest to penetrate the burgeoning underworld of international animal smuggling and who is buying the big cats, long snakes, and great apes that may live in a neighborhood like yours.
In Forbidden Creatures, Laufer exposes the netowrk of poachers, traders, breeders, and customers who constitute this often nefarious business-which, estimated at $10 to $20 billion annually, competes with illegal drug and weapons trafficking in the money it earns criminals.
Crisscrossing America and the globe, Laufer introduces brazen and dangerous traders and wealthy (or not-so-wealthy) pet owners whose greed, self-interest, and sometimes genuine love for animals perpetuate what is now a crisis of survival for a growing number of wild species. He turns up stories of exotic creatures of all sorts-from monkeys to chimpanzees, cheetahs to tigers, piranhas to pythons.
Among the many people he meets is breeder Connie Casey at "Chimparty." the Missouri compound where the headline-grabbing Travis the chimp was born and raised, to hear her thoughts about what prompted Travis to attack Charla Nash.
Women throughout with riveting stories from law enforcement officials, federal prosecutors, animal rights activists, and others involved in the business of international animal smuggling, Forbidden Creatures is both an important book and a compelling, first-person narrative written in Laufer's hallmark conversational, entertaining style.