A South African man accused of trying to smuggle hundreds of rare chameleons, snakes, lizards and frogs out of Madagascar inside his jacket and luggage was convicted Tuesday and sentenced to a year in jail. Jo van Niekerk, 29, a zoology student from Pretoria, was arrested in November at Antananarivo Airport with 388 animals, among them several species found only on Madagascar, including a fanged snake and a nocturnal leaf-tailed gecko. Around 100 lizards and frogs were pulled from the lining of his jacket, including a dead lizard, officials said.100 lizards and frogs in your jacket seems crazy. Read the book; when you see the amount of money involved, you'll understand.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Customs News of the Weird and Book Report
I did read The Lizard King by Bryan Christy and found it thoroughly interesting. The book is about the legal and mostly illegal trade in reptiles. I initially thought it would be too much like reading about work. As it turns out, there was just enough familiar info to make the book interesting. Don't take that to mean that you need to be a Customs (or Fish & Wildlife) geek to enjoy the book. It is more about the characters than the law and enforcement. Still, you know you are too far into this when a passing reference to the Lacey Act makes you smirk.
And speaking of animal smuggling . . .
Yesterday, on the flight back from New York, I read this story. It's short, so I'll just post it here: