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NOW IN PAPERBACK! What is being smuggled, from where and how--and why do so many people keep illicit, dangerous pets? On the heels of his acclaimed The Dangerous World of Butterflies, investigative journalist Peter Laufer is back to chronicle his worldwide quest to penetrate the underworld of international animal smuggling. In Forbidden Creatures, Laufer exposes the network of hunters, traders, breeders, and customers who constitute this nefarious business--which, estimated at $10 to $20 billion annually, competes with illegal drug and weapons trafficking in the money it earns criminals. Laufer asks: What is being smuggled, from where and why? What is being done to stop the illegal trading and irresponsible breeding? Taking readers to exotic and often lawless locales, Laufer introduces brazen and dangerous traders and wealthy customers whose greed and mindless self-interest perpetuate what is now a crisis of survival for a growing number of wild species. Woven throughout with riveting stories from law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors, Forbidden Creaturesis a compelling, first-person narrative written in Laufer's hallmark conversational, entertaining style.
Peter Laufer, PhD, is the author of more than a dozen books, including his widely praised The Dangerous World of Butterflies (Lyons Press) and Wetback Nation: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border. He is the James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. More about his work, which has received the George Polk, Edward R. Murrow, and other awards, at peterlaufer.com.