*** Stolen World by Jennie Erin Smith

Stolen World talks about reptile smugglers and offers a vast array of dodgy characters, including the reptile dealers themselves but also apparently upstanding citizens, such as the reptile curators of the San Diego and Bronx zoos who seem to be comfortable importing animals with dodgy origins when the exhibits will benefit (and are not below selling their own animals through the same channels to raise money or curry favors. From the heydays of the 60’s, when there were no laws restricting the trade, through today when many species are absolutely restricted (but there are few herpetologists, let alone custom officers,  who can distinguish them from similar legal, species), the author takes us on tours around the world, complete with civil wars, a real-life Swamplandia, defrauding of partners, employees, and governments, and bizarre public feuds.

After reading the book, I feel it’s a miracle that there are any snakes still left in the wild!

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