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July 04 , 2009

Animal Underworld

Inside America's Black Market for Rare and Exotic Species


A vast and previously undisclosed underground economy exists in the United States. The products bought and sold: animals. In Animal Underworld, veteran investigative journalist Alan Green exposes the sleazy, sometimes illegal web of those who trade in rare and exotic creatures. Green and The Center for Public Integrity reveal which American zoos and amusement parks dump their "surplus" animals on the middlemen adept at secretly redirecting them into the private pet trade. We're taken to exotic-animal auctions, where the anonymous high bidders are often notorious dealers, hunting-ranch proprietors, and profit-minded charlatans masquerading as conservationists. We visit some of the nation's most prestigious universities and research laboratories, whose diseased monkeys are "laundered" through this same network of breeders and dealers until they finally reach the homes of unsuspecting pet owners. And we meet the men and women who make their living by skirting through loopholes in the law, or by ignoring the law altogether. For anyone who cares about animals; for pet owners, zoo-goers, wildlife conservationists, and animal welfare advocates, Animal Underworld is gripping, shocking reading.
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