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Stolen world: a tale of reptiles, smugglers, and skulduggery

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Tortoises disappear from a Madagascar reserve and reappear in the Bronx Zoo. A dead iguana floats in a jar, awaiting its unveiling in a Florida court. A viper causes mayhem from Ethiopia to Virginia. In Stolen World , Jennie Erin Smith takes the reader on an unforgettable journey, a dark adventure over five decades and six continents.    In 1965, Hank Molt, a young cheese salesman from Philadelphia, reinvented himself as a "specialist dealer in rare fauna," traveling the world to collect exquisite reptiles for zoos and museums. By the end of the decade that followed, new endangered species laws had turned Molt into a convicted smuggler, and an unrepentant one, who went on to provide many of the same rare reptiles to many of the same institutions, covertly.  But Molt soon found a rival in Tommy Crutchfield, a Florida carpet salesman with every intention of usurping Molt as the most accomplished reptile smuggler in the country. Like Molt, Crutchfield had modeled himself after an earlier generation of natural-history collectors celebrated for their service to science, an ideal that, for Molt and Crutchfield, eclipsed the realities of the new wildlife-protection laws. Zoo curators, caught between a desire for rare animals and the conservation-minded focus of their institutions, became the smugglers' antagonists in court but also their best customers, sometimes simultaneously.  Crutchfield forged ties with a criminally inclined Malaysian wildlife trader and emerged a millionaire, beloved by some of the finest zoos in the world. Molt, following a string of inventive but disastrous smuggling schemes in New Guinea, was reduced to hanging around Crutchfield's Florida compound, plotting Crutchfield's demise. The fallout from their feud would result in a major federal investigation with tentacles in Germany, Madagascar, Holland, and Malaysia. And yet even after prison, personal ruin, and the depredations of age, Molt and Crutchfield never stopped scheming, never stopped longing for the snake or lizard that would earn each his rightful place in a world that had forgotten them--or rather, had never recognized them to begin with.
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ISBN:
9780307381477
9780307720269
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 63a3143b-89d2-3c09-33c0-9028964c6846
Grouping Title stolen world a tale of reptiles smugglers and skulduggery
Grouping Author smith jennie erin
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-12-10 22:45:07PM
Last Indexed 2019-12-10 23:47:53PM

Solr Details

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author Smith, Jennie Erin, 1973-
author_display Smith, Jennie Erin
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Madison Kids
collection_catalog Non-Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Madison - Adult Non-Fiction
display_description A disturbing and entertaining chronicle of reptile smugglers, the collectors and zoo keepers who trade with them, and the federal agents who try to catch them.
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Madison Kids
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publishDate 2011
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overdrive:b7fd4109-a28f-46fc-aabb-8d2d99eefd7c eBook eBook English Crown/Archetype 2011
ils:CARL0000366420 Book Books 1st ed. English Crown Publishers, c2011. 322 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet Animal dealers -- United States -- Anecdotes
Rare reptiles -- Anecdotes
Reptile trade -- United States -- Anecdotes
Snakes -- United States -- Anecdotes
Wildlife smuggling -- United States -- Anecdotes
title_display Stolen world : a tale of reptiles, smugglers, and skulduggery
title_full Stolen World A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery
Stolen world : a tale of reptiles, smugglers, and skulduggery / Jennie Erin Smith
title_short Stolen world :
title_sub a tale of reptiles, smugglers, and skulduggery
topic_facet Animal dealers
Nature
Nonfiction
Rare reptiles
Reptile trade
Snakes
Travel
True Crime
Wildlife smuggling