new book coming out

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terryo

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I just got this review from my herp club. Did anyone hear about this book. Tom Crutchfield is the person that I got Pio from. Looks like an interesting read.
TALKING ABOUT

A BOOK THAT WILL NOT BE OUT UNTIL JANUARY 3RD.

THE FOLLOWING STARRED REVIEW FROM PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY TELLS US WHY


Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery 
Jennie Erin Smith, Crown, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-307-38147-7
In this very disturbing and very entertaining chronicle of reptile smugglers, the collectors and zoo keepers who trade with them, and the federal agents who try to catch them, the humans are as devious, dangerous, and creepily charming as the cold-blooded creatures they lust after. Science reporter Smith bases her book on extensive original interviews with two smugglers: Henry Molt Jr. is a reptile dealer who, in the 1960s, unable to get a job with a zoo, began a lifelong career of reptile collecting involving restless international travel, partner-stiffing, and jail time, with an undaunted enthusiasm that's survived into his 60s: "The reptile business ‘is a disease,' he said, and you can't retire from a disease." Equally outrageous is the volatile, knife-wielding Tommy Crutchfield, who expanded his childhood alligator-and-snake business into a million-dollar empire of reptile hunting and dealing. Even the curators of the Bronx and San Diego zoos let their obsession with the!
animals lure them into deals in order to obtain illegally imported rare breeds. Smith's affection for these unsavory people gives the book an intriguing moral ambiguity (which might make some environmentalists cringe), but the subculture's brazen shenanigans make for a convoluted, fascinating tale. (Jan.)
 

Tom

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I know people in that book. Just remember there are AT LEAST two sides to every story. It sounds like the book is trying to sensationalize some pretty mundane stuff.

And remember that "right or wrong" has very little to do with "legal or illegal" anymore.
 

Madkins007

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Cool! It sounds like a variation on The Lizard King, which I thought handled the tricky subject pretty evenly when it came out.
 

Candy

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Terry did you pre-order this book? So you're saying that the guy you got Pio from is the same guy that they're speaking about in the book? Wow!
 

DeanS

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Like Tom...I also know SEVERAL of the people mentioned...and I'm sure more will be mentioned in the book that'll bring back memories. But, keep in mind, these are the people that took this hobby (and for many, a lifestyle) to the level it's at now! And without them, you wouldn't have your Bornean Forest Dragons or your Fijian Banded Iguanas or your Galaps...so sit back and ponder before you judge. And remember, many of these tell-all books are sprinkled with a fair dose of fiction.
 
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I got an email about it a few days ago. I also thought it sounded like a version of The Lizard King.

DeanS I completely agree.
 

terryo

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No Candy, I didn't pre-order the book, although I might get it when it come's out.
Before I took Pio, I goggled Tom Crutchfield so I knew a bit about him before I heard about this book. Many, many years ago, my Dad spoke a lot about this stuff, as he knew people who worked on some boats or something. I don't know who they were, as I was too young to care at the time, but he brought home lots of crazy animals, when his friends would call him to come see what they had. I'm going back many, many years ago, and he was a lot older than my Mom, so you can imagine how far back these things have been going on. Who know's what kind of tortoises I might have had growing up, as we always had some big thing roaming the yard when I was little. Somewhere, my sister said there are pictures of me and my sister sitting on a "big turtle" in my Dad's friend's yard.
Growing up, my Dad made his own glass tanks, and they were all over our basement. We had every kind of snake, lizard, and alligators, and turtles. He used to tell me that each animal came from a different place, and he found this fascinating. He said that each one had to be taken care of differently. I remember looking in the turtle tanks, (if they were turtles) and sometimes there was so much humidity that you couldn't see in there. I didn't have much interest then, but I sure wish he was here now. I could never judge anyone in this book, because in a way, I would be judging my own Father.
He also used to come home with birds...parrots...little birds....I don't know what they were.
It wasn't just reptiles that came off those boats.
One more thing about Tom Crutchfield. He was very kind to me and helped me with information about caring for Pio, before I met Terry K.
 

Az tortoise compound

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I would love to hear whole lot more of these stories. In my opinion it's like game-dogs. I don't condone it but it is a part of the history and without that they wouldn't be here today. You have to respect that aspect.
 

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There are many interesting stories from the past that will probably never be told.A couple examples are, The guy that would go to Nam in the early 70s as a journalist just to bring animals out.Another person would fly a single engine plane to Central America and trade cigarettes for reptiles,Back in the late 60s and early 70s customs was pretty much a joke,most shipments were never checked by opening the boxes or metal containers that was used to ship, But in 1973 or 74 at the port of entry in New York, they used a person from the Zoo to inspect the contents,and if an animal was not on the invoice he would keep it for himself,(it was common for animals not to be shown on the invoice) so importers switched to Chicago as the port of entry and the freebies got to you instead of being confiscated at customs. Yes I'm looking forward to reading the book.
 

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Len said:
There are many interesting stories from the past that will probably never be told.A couple examples are, The guy that would go to Nam in the early 70s as a journalist just to bring animals out.Another person would fly a single engine plane to Central America and trade cigarettes for reptiles,Back in the late 60s and early 70s customs was pretty much a joke,most shipments were never checked by opening the boxes or metal containers that was used to ship, But in 1973 or 74 at the port of entry in New York, they used a person from the Zoo to inspect the contents,and if an animal was not on the invoice he would keep it for himself,(it was common for animals not to be shown on the invoice) so importers switched to Chicago as the port of entry and the freebies got to you instead of being confiscated at customs. Yes I'm looking forward to reading the book.

There was a florist in Pasadena, CA back in the late 60s, early 70s. The shop was called Simpson's...we were in there all the time (personal friends of the family). In the shop, they actually had Squirrel and Spider monkeys for sale. Macaws of every color were available, as well. In the back they kept tanks of alligators, caiman and large constrictors. I specifically remember a 17 foot anaconda that Sonny (the owner) told me that Marlin Perkins personally gave to him...apparently, it was the same snake that Jim Fowler (or was it Stan Brock) had wrestled on an epsiode of Wild Kingdom. I love the old stories...true and fabricated alike. Because as I said earlier...facts can be sprinkled with fiction...well, I think a lot of fables have a dose of truth to them...makes them more interesting....Don't you think?

BTW...for you youngsters...wanna know how zoos got all their collections in the old days...check out the John Wayne movie HATARI...very tongue-in-cheek...but pretty accurate! And it still happens...but to a much lesser degree.;)
 

terryo

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My Dad had a friend in the city (NY) who owned a pet store. Some of the sailors would bring some animals there and then call up people who would be interested in them. Sometimes my Dad would take me there to see some of the animals. Once when we went there the guy had a little chimp that someone was coming to get. I sat in a chair and was allowed to hold him. I cried all the way home because I wanted him, and my Father told me and my sister that they probably killed the mother to get him, and did I want that on my conscience, and I said I didn't care, cause I just wanted that monkey. Wow...have I changed.
Sometimes he would ask my Mom for $10 to give to the sailor that he know, because they didn't make much, and my Mom would say NO because we didn't have much either. They would fight a lot about these animals and the money that my Father spent. These are stories that I vaguely remember, but my sister, who was 10 years older than me still tells me about them.
 

dmmj

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wow what little kid would not want a monkey? My neighbor actually did this but he did it with sea life, he was a deep sea diver and he would go out every weekend, and bring back halibut and the largest lobsters you have ever seen, from california waters. well he had a sea water fish tank with the coolest animals you have ever seen, nothing like was available in the fish stores. He would often have people come over to his house during the week and take out their new friends with them.
 
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